“These biographies establish a foundation for the reunion,” said Molina. “People may see that they look like their birth mother or have the same nose or chin as a sibling.”
Molina said that there are stages to a reunion, often beginning with a honeymoon phase. She said that people may need to set boundaries and outline how far they want the relationship to go. Some people, she said, may decide at some point to end the relationship.
“Adoption is a life-long process,” Molina said. “Some people may want to know more as they grow older, often starting with wanting to know only medical history but later wanting contact.”
Although the adoptive parents are not a part of the registry, adoptees are encouraged to share information with their adoptive families.
The DSHS registry, which began in 1984, has registered more than 8,100 people looking for one another, including adult adoptees, birth mothers, adult siblings and birth fathers. About three times as many adoptees are registered as are birth mothers. “We make about 20 to 30 matches a year,” Molina said.
For a person to become a part of the Central Adoption Registry they must:
n Have been adopted in Texas or have been born in Texas and adopted in another state or
n Be the birth parent or sibling of an adoptee
n Be 18 years old or older and
n Provide proof of age and identity with a copy of a birth certificate and a valid government-issued photo ID.
To get an application, write the Central Adoption Registry (MC 1966), P.O. Box 149347, Austin, TX 78714-9347; call (512) 458-7388 or toll free (888) 963-7111, ext. 7388; or download an application online at www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/reqproc/adoptionregistry.shtm. Cost to be in the registry is $30 but may be waived or reduced.