Birth Family Search

Birth Family Search

scan0001Effective November 2016, Korean regulations now require an adoptee to be age 19 to request copies of the Korean file, an assessment of the file, or a search for birth family.

In most cases, what is in our file at Holt International is the same information that you received at the time of the adoption, and comprises everything we are able to release. We know that documents can be lost or destroyed over the decades, and we are happy to provide you with copies whenever possible. Please see File Copies for additional information.

If your adoptee is age 19 or over, please have them contact us directly through this website.

If your adoptee is under age 19, but experiencing significant medical or emotional issues, there may be limited options available to us. Please contact us via the link below to request additional information. We are happy to discuss your child’s needs and how we may be able to help.

Please note: As of August 2012, birth parents residing in Korea are no longer allowed to request a search for their adopted child. This change was precipitated by new adoption legislation in Korea.


How to support your adult child during their search

Chloe DuerrRegardless of the outcome of your adult child’s search for birth family, this can be a difficult time for both adoptee and parent. Please remember that a strong support system is important for you as well as the adoptee.

Supporting your Adopted Child’s Search– article from

Searching for a Past: Why Adopted Children Seek Their Roots and How Parents Can Respond. (Chapter 13 in The Whole Life Adoption Book: Realistic Advice for Building a Healthy Adoptive Family.)
Schooler, Jayne E. Atwood, Thomas.
Reasons why adopted children search for their biological parents are discussed. Possible outcomes as a result of the search are explored, and strategies that parents can use to respond to the need to search are discussed.

Articles from real life people and their experiences – Adoption Birthmothers

Articles on search – PACT resources

Synchronicity: The Sparks of Reunion By LaVonne Stiffler

Two Stories of Reunion – A Review by Susan Ito

Once They Hear My Name; Korean Adoptees and Their Journey, by Marilyn Lammert, Ellen Lee and Mary Anne Hess. Reviewed by Lynne Connor

What Every Adoptive Parent Should Know About Search And Reunion by Michael P Grand, PHD and Monica Bryne

What every adoptive parent should know about search and reunion- Dos and Don’t by Michael Grand, PhD, C. Psych

Adoptive parents and adoption reunions – Adoption Diaries