Nearly half of the United States population, approximately 140,000,000 people, have some connection with adoption in their immediate family. Whether the connection is an immediate association with an adopted member of their family, or from the relinquishment for adoption. Often both adoptees and “birth” parents are left with life-long questions:
- Where did I come from?
- Why was I given up for adoption?
- What happened to the child I gave up?
- Are they OK? Are they still alive?
For some the questions go on and on. Sealed records laws and traditions don’t make it easy for either party to find their biological family once an adoption is complete. Adding to the complexity is the number of legal adoptions from foreign countries which operate under different laws, as well as the child trafficking of both domestic and foreign obtained kidnapping victims placed for adoption on the black market. In fact, according to the United Nation’s “Rights of the Child” project, the United States is the “largest market for stolen children in the world.”
For those seeking to reconnect with the biological parents/children, the roadblocks and the system’s built-in secrecy can seem like an insurmountable barrier. However, experts have learned to get past these problems and uncover the truth. Expert Lori Carangelo has put her experience and knowledge within reach through her book The Ultimate Search Book, 2011 Edition: Worldwide Adoption, Genealogy & Other Search Secrets from the the files of Americans for Open Records (AmFOR).
The 2011 edition replaces the popular 2002 edition. As director of the organization Americans for Open Records, Ms. Carangelo has amassed considerable expertise in helping people, and especially birth parents, find their missing loved ones. In this book she shares the secrets to successful searching with a broader audience. How, in the case of adoptees, do they find someone without a prior knowledge of the name? She answers typical questions by providing “how to” search tips and both free and for fee resources for legally accessing information and for locating anyone in the U.S. and 200 other countries.
The first five chapters of the new edition lay out Ms. Carangelo’s blueprint for successful searching. Chapter One identifies the major categories of databases that a researcher is likely to consult (DMV records, voter registrations, etc.). Chapters Two and Three home in on missing children, old loves, war buddies, child support deadbeats, and so on. Chapter Four treats missing persons whose names you may or may not have (birth children, foster care records, missing person locators), while Chapter Five concentrates on the principal websites for finding missing persons. The bulk of the book the leads the reader, U.S. state by state, and then country by country. through the specifics of successful searching. For example, in the case of Idaho state, we are given the addresses, phone numbers, and websites of the vital records office, DMV, state archives, and central adoption agency; the coverage and dates of the available records; and the adoption disclosure statute(s) currently in force. But that is not all. Ms. Carangelo also provides contact information for Idaho adoption search/support groups, as well as sample letters that readers can use to address their own concerns to the appropriate agencies and/or testimonials from state- or country-specific searchers. While the detail is not as marked for many countries as it is for the U.S., Canada, or Great Britain, there is no question that anyone who avails him/herself of the 2011 edition of The Ultimate Search Book will be off to a good start in tracking down a missing loved one.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Search Basics Forty Search Tips for Starters
Chapter 2: Missing and Runaway Children
Chapter 3: Family Tree, Genealogy, Debtor, Child Support, Heir, Classmate, Ol Love, War buddy, Missing Adults or Anyone
Chapter 4: With or Without a Name – Family Members Separated Due to Adoption, Divorce
Chapter 5: Internet Searches
Searching the USA
includes all 50 states and U.S. possessions and trust territories
including International Search Resources, International Social Services, Citizenship and Adoption, and Abducted Children
Addendum: State Private Investigator Licensing Boards
The Ultimate Search Book, 2011 Edition: Worldwide Adoption, Genealogy & Other Search Secrets from the the files of Americans for Open Records (AmFOR) is available from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $42.63.