Finding your birth parents

Finding birth parents is something a lot of adopted people feel like they need to do, and that’s okay. You can get help in making the decision and support in working through anything it might bring up. There are also resources to help you actually track down your birth parents.

This could be for you if: 

  • You were adopted 
  • You’re having difficulty deciding if you want to find your birth parents
  • You want to find your birth parents
mother and daughter cooking

Who are my birth parents? 

It’s really common for people who have been adopted to begin asking questions about their birth parents. Many adopted people feel they need to get in touch with their birth family in order to get a full picture of themselves. 

Sometimes the desire to connect with birth parents exists from the moment a person finds out they’re adopted, for others it may be an important event, like leaving home or getting married, that leads an adopted person to begin asking questions about the life of their birth parents. Other people are comfortable with never finding out who their birth parents are.

It might be confronting to start thinking about your birth parents, and you may even feel guilty for wanting to know more. Many people who have been adopted feel bad about looking into what happened to their birth parents as they worry they are betraying their adoptive parents. 

It’s important to recognise that it’s perfectly normal and acceptable to want to find out more about your birth parents. If you’re worried about what your adoptive parents will think, take time to talk to them about it. Once you explain to them your reasons for wanting to find your birth parents you may find that they are more supportive than you anticipated.  

Making a decision 

Deciding to find your birth parents is a big decision to make. It's normal to be worried about how it will go. It’s important to keep in mind your own emotional state and mental health when deciding to look for your birth parents. Wait until you feel strong enough to cope with any outcome, whether it’s positive or negative, as the process can be quite emotional. 

If you feel that you’re ready to start looking, make sure you have a good support network around you, whether that’s your adoptive parents, a friend, counsellor or psychologist.

Finding your birth parents

It's normal to be nervous, apprehensive or worried about what your birth parents might be like. No matter how you feel about being adopted and looking for your birth parents, you can get help and support with going through the process. 

People who have been adopted can find resources and information at the Post Adoption Resource Centre.

Their phone number is 02 9504 6788 and they offer help to people looking for relatives and support to those who have made the decision to get in touch with family members. 

Alternatively, Jigsaw is an organisation that offers all kinds of help, support and information for people who were adopted. Check out the process for finding your birth parents in each state.

Be aware that the process of finding your birth parents could take some time, and it might not always be straight forward. Remember to look after yourself and don’t be afraid to turn to your support network if it’s becoming difficult to deal with.

What can I do now?

Last reviewed: 07 July, 2015
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