Frequently Asked Questions
What non-identifying information can I get?
If you are an adult and have been adopted, in the state of Georgia, or if you are an adoptive parent of a child under 18, background history of the birth parents and their families may be available from the sealed adoption record. This usually includes physical descriptions, social and health information, early childhood development data and reasons for the plan of adoption.
Instructions for requesting non-identifying information:
- If you are an adopted person 18 years or older, click here for more information.
- If you are adoptive parents of children under 18, click here for more information.
For adopted persons over the age of 21:
If you are over the age of 21, and you have received a non-identifying summary you may then request that a search be done for one or both of your birth parents. For more information about our search services see “Services Offered to Adopted Persons”. Please be aware that you MUST FIRST request and receive a summary of non-identifying information before proceeding with a search.
What identifying information can be released?
Identifying information may include the name, date of birth, address and any other information that might be useful in finding a birth parent or adult sibling. An adult adopted after 1941 may receive identifying information only with the written consent of the person being sought. Any person being sought must sign a Consent to Contact form before the Registry can release any identifying information.
The Registry can also release identifying information if the person requesting the information has a court order to open the adoption record. Contact the Registry to learn more about this process.
What if I don't want to be contacted by the party searching for me?
The Reunion Registry cannot release identifying information without written consent of the person being sought or a court order. If you want to protect your right to privacy, you must file an Affidavit of Non-Disclosure with the Adoption Reunion Registry. If there is a court hearing, you may be contacted if you have no filed this affidavit.
However, signing this affidavit does not mean that you will never be located or have your identity become known. Today, there are many informal means of locating people without the help of the Registry, adoption agencies or the courts.
What if I want to be found or waive my rights to confidentiality?
If you want to be contacted, you may file a Consent to Contact with the Adoption Reunion Registry. If your address changed, you need to let the Registry know where you are.
What are the intermediary services?
Intermediary services allow people involved in a search to exchange information confidentially until they can decide whether to waive their rights to privacy. These services may include exchanging letters or photographs.
How much does it cost to use the registry?
- Registration: No Fee
- Non Identifying Summary: $35
- Non Identifying Summary for Adoptive Parent: No Fee
- Search: $300
What are Independent Adoptions?
Independent adoptions are adoptions that
have been privately arranged through an independent source such as
an attorney or a physician. These files typically contain
less information than an agency adoption file. However, this
can only be determined on a case by case basis when the file is
researched upon your request for non-identifying
information. If we are unable to complete a non-identifying
summary report due to lack of information we will refund your
In such cases, you may make a request for search services.
How does the search process work?
After we receive the required forms, your letter and payment, we begin your search by assigning it to our RR Adoption Specialist. Our Adoption Specialist will review your request and assign it to our Private Investigator. Once your birth family member is located, our RR Adoption Specialist will attempt to make contact with your birth family member by phone. The phone conversation begins after RR Specialist confirms your birth family member’s identity and Specialist explains the purpose of our phone call. We then read your letter to your birth family member and allow time for your birth family member to comment/ react to our call. We assure your family member that they do not have to make a decision immediately if they are not ready to do so. However, during the conversation we explain to your family member that they have the following three options: They may choose to consent to contact and submit a “Consent to Contact form”; they may choose to deny contact and submit an “Affidavit of Non-Disclosure form”; or they may choose to use our intermediary services whereby you and your birth family member may write to each other indefinitely through us without exchanging identifying information. A form is required to begin non-identifying intermediary services. During our conversation with your birth family member we ask for any information they would be willing to share about themselves and/or other birth family members, based upon the list of questions you submit to us. We also send your birth family member a packet of information which includes articles about search and reunion, a booklist and a copy of your letter.
How long does the search take?
A search takes approximately 1-6 months depending upon how difficult it is to find and contact the family member for whom you are searching. Please keep in mind that we do several hundred searches a year and we work on several simultaneously.
When did the laws change?
The laws changed initially in 1990, setting up the program of the Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry. The laws changed again in 2003, adding some important services, including the ability for birth parents to search for their child provided their child is 21 years of age or older.
Can birth parents search?
Yes! As of 2003, the laws in Georgia changed again allowing birth parents to search for their child provided that child is 21 years of age or older.
Can I share important medical information with my birth family member?
Yes, the 2003 law provides the ability for birth family members to share updated medical information when deemed critical to the well-being of the family member.
What about an urgent medical need?
We consider the urgency of a request on a case-by-case basis. When there is an urgent medical need, we give priority to that request.
Am I able to share important medical information if my child is a minor?
If you are a birth parent wanting to share important medical information with your child who is under 21 years old, we will share this information by contacting your child’s adoptive parents.
What if my birth parent is located but is found to be deceased?
If we find that your birth parent is deceased you are allowed by law to have the name, date of death and place of burial of your birth parent.
What if my sibling is located but is found to be deceased?
If we find that your sibling is deceased you are allowed by law to have the name, date of death and place of burial of your sibling.
What if my birth parent is located and does not want contact, is there anything else I can do?
If you have siblings, 18 years of age or older, you are allowed by law to search for them regardless of birth mother’s status. You must be 21 years old to search.
How can I get more information?
For more adoption information about Adoption Reunion Registry, contact: