Looking for Your Birthmother?

How Do I Find My Birth Mother or Father?
:The Adoption Search Process

Each state has its own set of laws and procedures regarding adoption search.

  • Missouri law requires a bit more paperwork and approval before a search can begin.
  • The adoptee can make a request for a full search directly to the Missouri Court that finalized their adoption. The Court will then authorize a search and perform the search utilizing court staff or the court will allow an authorized Searcher or “confidential intermediary” (CI) to search on their behalf.
  • The Searcher will conduct the search and contact the birth parent to inform them of the adoptee’s request for information.
Check out the web site with the Missouri State Adoption Law for the legal specifics.

Missouri State Adoption Law

There are many different scenarios that may occur following initial contact with the birth parent.

  • They will either agree to the release of their identifying information to the adoptee or they will decline.


  • The Searcher will help mediate a level of contact that is agreeable to both the birth parent and the adoptee.


  • If the birthparent is found to be deceased, a search is conducted to try to obtain as much information about the birth mother as can be found such as cause of death and other updated background information that would be of interest to the adoptee. Following Court approval, the identifying information on the birth parent is released to the adoptee if the other birth parent has provided their consent, is also deceased, or is unknown.


  • Per Missouri law, we are allowed to confidentially contact other family members (ie. siblings or decendents) in an effort to obtain information. They are offered the same chance at a connection as the birth parent would have been if they were still alive. The Searcher will help facilitate the first connection.
  • Attempts to locate the birth father, if known, are completed in every search. He is provided the same opportunity at a connection as the birth mother.


  • Per Missouri law, if both birth parents are found, located and respond, the approval of both birth parents is required before any identifying information may be released. If one birth parent says yes and one says no, the no stops the release for both birthparents.


  • If one birthparent provides their consent and the other birthparent is deceased, the identifying information on both birth parents can be released.


  • At the conclusion of the search, a report is made to the Court with recommendations. If the birth parent has provided their written consent to the release of their identifying information, this consent is provided to the Court.


  • When the Court has reviewed the case and provided their consent,
    • If making a connection: the Searcher will contact both the birth parent (or their descendents) and the adoptee to set up a pre-arranged time for the adoptee to make that first phone call!
    • If the birth parent(s) are deceased and the qualifications for release are met, the identifying information on the deceased birth parents is released to the adoptee.
  • If you were born or adopted through a state that currently allows for the release of original birth certificates and/or adoption file information, such as Kansas and Oregon, you are able to contact those states and receive a copy of your adoption file.

    • The file will have identifying information about your birth parents. After receiving the information about your birth parents, you may want to hire an intermediary to locate them and contact them on your behalf.