Birth parents and adoptees may search for each other after the adoptee reaches the age of 18. Because Holt’s headquarters are in Oregon, the state laws of Oregon govern all post-adoption services, such as birth search and file copies. Oregon Statutes 109.425 and 109.455 require an adoptee to be 18 years or older to initiate a search, and has to initiate the search themselves. The release of birth parent identifying information is also dictated by these laws, as well as the laws of the birth country.
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 child is now age 18 or over please have them contact us directly through this website. While many parents have met their child’s birth family during a ceremony or when they have traveled to Vietnam, searches must still follow the same guidelines.
If your child is under age 18, but experiencing severe 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.
How to support your adult child during their search
Regardless 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 Adoption.com
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