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GETTING STARTED

Important note: Every search is different. The steps of searching are not a one size fits all. We encourage you to use our website as a resource but to do your own research about organizations referenced to be certain they fit with your search and philosophies.

Are you ready to search?

Ten Questions to Ask Yourself

Searching for Birth Family: Nanchang Project

(good overview)

You Are Not Abandoned

(one birth mother's story written by a search volunteer)

Some Suggested Steps

  • MOST IMPORTANT! Keep a record of everything you do - names, contacts, DNA uploads, etc. Something that does not seem important now may be an critical clue in the future.

  • DNA testing is crucial to a successful search. Many recent matches have happened only through DNA matching. Do two DNA tests if you can, but MOST IMPORTANT is an SNP/autosomal (23and Me, uploaded to GEDmatch) test, followed by an STR/CODIS/paternity test if you can afford it. Upload results from both to as many databases as possible. See all DNA details here. Even if you come across your birth family with your own search, you’ll have to do a DNA test to confirm it, so you might as well get started! :)

  • Gather all your adoption paperwork - 1/Certificate of Adoption, 2/Certificate of Birth, and 3/Certificate of Abandonment - and have it re-translated by a Chinese speaker. Some adoptees have found information in the Chinese version that wasn't included in the translated version. Keep in mind that the information in your documents may not be accurate, such as finding place, dates, who found you. You can find information about translators on our Resources page.

  • Join birth parent search Facebook groups, as well as groups for your own province and orphanage. Connect with others adopted from the same orphanage and timeframe. Compare information, photos, and details.

 

  • Consider ordering your Finding Ad (for those born 1999 or later) and a Birth Parent Search Analysis from Research-China. The Birth Parent Search Analysis will give you information on the finding patterns of your orphanage and additional information from the time you were born and relinquished, which may help you search more effectively.

  • Download and start using WeChat, the most common messaging app in China. Add friends to your WeChat contact list, and practice sending messages, videos, and using WeChat Moments. Also join a WeChat birth parent searching group for your province. Check our how-to guides for help.

  • Join Nanchang Project's Origins Search (currently paused), open to all adoptees from anywhere in China. They're offering regional and small group searches at an affordable cost and covering the DNA testing for all birth parents who come forward. DNA testing is through 23mofang and uploaded to GEDmatch.  

  • Follow The Roots of Love on Facebook or Instagram and watch for announcements of when they may be opening up their search grants for adoptees who need financial help.

  • If you decide to go public with your search, try contacting newspapers in your city to see if you can interest them in publicizing your story. Here is a list of some of the major newspapers (in Dutch, use Chrome to translate).  

Join a Search Project!

These are search projects that are doing great things!

  • Nanchang Project: originally focused on searching in Jiangxi Province, but is now China-wide. Their leadership team is made up of adoptees and adoptive parents.  They offer regional and small group searches at an affordable cost and cover the DNA testing for all birth parents who come forward. DNA testing is through 23mofang and uploaded to GEDmatch. As of 2023, they've had 40+ DNA matches. Check their website for a list of found birth families.

  • The Roots of Love: is focused on searching in Chongqing Municipality. They work with professional searchers in China, cover the costs of DNA testing for all birth parents who come forward (no matter which part of China they are from), and offer search grants for adoptees. DNA testing is through 23mofang and uploaded to GEDmatch; STR testing is used if needed. Check their website for a list of found birth families.

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