Non-Identifying information is a very useful tool used to find birth families or adoptees. In my mom’s case, we were given some basic but very helpful information.
In our first request for non-identifying information, we were told the birth mother was 18 and her father had died at the age of 60. We were also told her brother’s ages at the time of my mom’s birth. 2nd time around, we were told that my mom’s birth mother was 14 when her dad died and that her mom had remarried and moved to a bigger city. We also learned that the birth mother’s father was a clerk in a general store in a small town.
Usually the documents will include some of the following…
- Basic family history/ Family members
- Ages or year of birth of family members
- Religious background
- Medical History
- General appearance
- General locations
How can non-identifying information help my search?
I was able to put together a basic family profile and estimates of year of birth for all of her family. I knew I was looking for a family with 2 sons and 1 daughter and a residence change to a bigger city after the mother remarried. I was able to dismiss many family lines as potential birth mother / family candidates because they didn’t fit the profile.
How do I get non-identifying information?
- Each state is different and each adoption is different. Start with the agency that handled your adoption and contact them. Usually, they will have the how-to on obtaining adoption related documents.
- Find a search angel or adoption mentor that can walk with you through this process.
General Info & Tips
- Request non-identification information repeatedly. We’ve only requested twice but I’m tempted to ask again to see if we get anything new about the birth father. In some cases, the non-identifying information is transcribed from the original file and each time it’s written, different information can be included.
- Ask for more – ask for any letters of photos or ask for your entire file. A friend was given a newspaper clipping of them from when they were at the orphanage.
You may be able to skip this step completely! The following states give unrestricted access for adult adoptees to their birth certificates – Alabama, Alaska, Oregon, Kansas, New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island