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How do I arrange for Future Contact with my Child if I want it?

If you decide on a confidential adoption, you may still wish to make sure that your child can contact you in the future. There are things you can do now to make that happen.

Many people who are adopted as children later want to meet their birth parents. With the exception of Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Kansas, Oregon, and Tennessee, State laws do not permit them to see their original birth certificate. Because of these problems, many States, and some private national organizations, have set up adoption registries to help people find one another.

A registry works like this: You leave the information about the birth of the child and your address and telephone number. You must keep your address and telephone number current. You can register at any time, even years after the child is born.

When your child is an adult, he or she can call or write this registry. If what the child knows about his or her birth matches what the registry has, the registry will release your current address and telephone number to the child, and you could be contacted.

There is another way to ensure that your child can contact you if he or she wishes. Some adoption agencies and attorneys who arrange private adoptions will hold a letter in their file in which you say why you chose adoption and how to get in touch with you if the child ever wants to. If the agency or attorney that you are working with will not agree to do this, you may wish to work with somebody else.

There are several national organizations that offer ongoing advice and support to birth parents, information about contact and reunion with their children, and many other things. People in these organizations have already gone through what you are going through. They will be very helpful and understanding if you need someone to talk to. These organizations or the staff of the Clearinghouse can refer you to a group near you.

Resource: National Adoption Information Clearinghouse.