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4 tools to speed up your search for biological family

5th August 2020 Print

Looking for a long-lost family member or your biological parents if you’re adopted could be a tricky process. But unlike in the old days, it’s no longer something beyond the reach of the average person. That’s because data is far more organized and accessible now and getting through to information even across continents has become easier. Moreover, digital and on-ground connectivity have become far more efficient and simpler.

And using the right tools can help you cut back on months of legwork. But this needs to be done with a proper understanding, keeping your specific search requirements in mind. So, here are 4 effective tools that could help you save a ton of time and effort so you can find a biological family member far more efficiently.

1. Search online

Any search for a family member should begin and end with an online search. It’s the easiest, simplest, and most accessible tool you can find for research. The internet has become a gold mine of information and has created various tools to make finding anyone and anything an efficient process.

One of the most important online tools available today is people search sites. What sets them apart is their ability to collate all sorts of accessible information into one place to create people profiles. And they don’t just do this for famous and high-profile individuals. They create profiles of just about anyone with a digital footprint.

Take Nuwber, for example. The information this people search site can provide include age, address, contact number, marital status, and details of family, friends, neighbors, and associates. And the list goes on. It’s quite impressive when you think about it. This could be several months’ work for you if you try to search on your own. But if they have a profile created for your family member, they’ll retrieve it within a few seconds. All you need is a name.

And if you have a photo, you can then do a reverse image search online. Google, the largest search engine on the planet, can easily scan trillions of online pages and retrieve any matching or similar images and related data for you.

2. Access specialized services

There are several state-run services that can help you with your search. The National Foster Care & Adoption Directory is a useful resource if you’ve been separated from your biological family due to adoption. And The National Archives and Records Administration has specialized resources for genealogy research. For example, if you’re trying to trace a family member from immigrant roots, then you can access their immigration records including visas, passports, and naturalization records and resources. 

Reunion registries are another effective service you should consider. The Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry (GARR) is a good example of a state-run registry. They maintain large databases of individuals who voluntarily register in search of lost family members. They are maintained by protecting the confidentiality of all parties, and if there’s a match, they can help you connect if there is consent from both sides. However, keep in mind that for a match to take place, records of both parties should be held within the registry. So, register with as many of these reunion registries as possible to increase the chances of finding your family.

There are also private and non-profit organizations that specialize in finding family members. Apart from maintaining reunion registries, they could, in fact, help carry out investigations to find lost family members. These services could be available for free or with a payment, depending on which organization you approach.

3. Do a DNA test

In recent years, DNA tests have become popular among people in search of lost family. It’s mainly because they are highly accurate, and most of all, affordable and accessible to anyone, unlike in the old days.

And it doesn’t just stop with a DNA report. These companies maintain databases of hundreds and thousands of others who have done the test with them. So, they can scan their records and let you know of any DNA matches for even up to several generations back. However, similar to reunion registries, these databases have limitations. You and your lost family members should have registered with the same company for a match to take place. So, make sure you select and register with several large-scale DNA test providers to improve the chances of a DNA match.

4. Use social media

Many people still do not quite understand the true power of social media. 

With half the world’s population using social media today, popular platforms such as Facebook can become an important tool to find lost family. A quick search might help you find a profile if their details are set up for public view. But the real effectiveness of social media lies in its ability to make information go viral and reach possibly millions of people even across continents within a mere short time.

And this is more so, especially when it comes to matters with emotional appeal such as finding a lost sibling or a biological parent. You’ll be surprised how many people would step forward to offer help or at least spread the word. And this could be a very effective method to find some useful clues.

So, share your story together with any other information you may have, such as names, locations, and even photos.

To sum up

The bottom line is, a search for biological family doesn’t need to be a cumbersome process anymore. Of course, the time it takes could vary from case to case. But these 4 tools will help you speed up your search and improve your chances of success.

And if all else fails, you can get the services of a private investigator. While this is quite a costly solution, it could still be effective and can save you valuable time.

Meanwhile, make sure that you prepare yourself for the journey. After all, searching is only part of it.