To research an individual's biological roots, you must first find out who the individual's birth parents are. ALMA, the Adoptee's Liberty Movement Association, can offer help with locating birth parents. They have a database called the Adoption Reunion Registry that contains the names of parents who gave up their children for adoption, and the names of adoptees and their birth dates. The individuals listed in this database are interested in finding their children or parents. It may be that they can help you make a match. ALMA will assist those who are over 18 years of age. In addition to the database, ALMA is an excellent source of information and tips about searching for your biological parents. Click here for a Family Tree Maker user's actual family story about finding adoptive parents.
To contact ALMA, write to: ALMA, P.O. Box 727, Radio City Station, New York, NY 10101-0727
A book that also may be helpful is Mary Jo Filera's The Adoption Searchbook.
It may also be possible to open an individual's original adoption records. A few states will do this for adoptees that are at least 18 years old, and a few more states will open records when both the adoptee and the birth parents agree to it. To do this you must know the individual's birth date and the state in which the individual was born. Call a court in the state where the individual was born to find out what laws apply to adoption records. For more information about court records, see the topic All about court records.
When you have discovered the identity of an individual's biological parents, you can research the individual's biological roots using all of the methods described in the Step-by-Step Guide for researching a family tree. If the individual's biological parents are no longer living and you would like to locate other living relatives, see the topics Names of living relatives and Address and phone of living relatives.