Hiring a Searcher
The following searchers are active in China and have worked for many adoptive families. We only list searchers who have given permission – they each wrote their own introduction and provided contact information. ICSA presents this list as information only with no particular endorsement. We recommend asking in the various Facebook searching groups for feedback from people who have worked with the searcher you are considering. Before taking the step of hiring a searcher, go through some or all of the suggested steps on our Getting Started page and formulate a plan with your searcher based on your circumstances and specific needs.
Be sure to talk to your searcher about their DNA collection process so that you're in agreement. You can learn more about DNA options here.
Any additional searchers who would like to be listed can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note about payments: It can be a little tricky to figure out how to transfer money to a searcher from overseas. Many adoptive families have successfully used Wise and found the fees to be lower than bank transfers.
GAO WEI JUAN
I have mostly worked with adoptive parents from Holland and the US since I was a student and made it my job in 2016. Over the years I helped adopted families find both foster families and/or birth families and vice versa. I am still in touch with many of them. I have good relationship with various media as well as orphanages and other organisations involved in the search process.
Being a national adoptee myself, in some ways I know how adopted children may feel and understand how important it is for them to find ‘the missing piece.’ Therefore I would like to help you to ‘travel this road’ together.
Facebook: Red Thread Services
I have been working with international adoptions and birth family search for over 20 years in China. My work is to help with my whole heart to fix the empty parts in the hearts of the adoptees. I started in 2009 to shift from facilitating adoptions to helping adoptees search for birth families, and this has been my work since 2015. I joined the shooting of the documentary film Somewhere Between around the year 2010 in my province Anhui. We have helped five families find their birth families and have found at least four families who are most likely birth families, but either the birth family or the adoptee hesitated to do the DNA testing.
My parents died during the Cultural Revolution when I was two years old, and I was sent to the Jiangxi Fuzhou Social Welfare Institute. I left there at 18 to study at Jiangxi Normal University and taught middle school after graduation.
In 1994, I translated documents for many foreign families and helped them adopt their children; I wanted the children to have a family and grow up healthy. In 1995, I worked for the Meiling Foundation of the Netherlands in foreign adoption.
In recent years, I’ve helped adoptees search for their biological parents in China and also arranged travel and orphanage visits.
Search is not as easy as you think. Many adoptees’ information doesn’t match their files, so our search team needs to go to many places in China.
Facebook: Janet Taoqi
I have done work for international adoptive families in all provinces of China. We’ve helped many adoptive families with searches for biological parents and with homeland trips to China. We have successfully found five birth families, and I accompanied five adoptive families to visit their children’s biological families, three of them meeting their families for the first time. I have helped them build good relationships with each other.
I have worked with adoption agencies in the US, Canada and Holland for over 20 years. I have done heritage tours for over 10 years and helped some families find birth parents by luck. I have built solid relationships with the directors of many orphanages in China, especially in Jiangxi province. Many adoptive families have become my lifetime good friends for decades. Since 2017, I began to work with Jiangxi Qiushi DNA lab in Nanchang to help adoptive families do DNA testing to match with potential birth families. Due to my passion and interests of adoption work, I would love to help adoptees look for birth parents because I totally understand how important the missing piece is for the adoptee’s life.
WhatsApp: Sissi (cell# +008613970015500)
Facebook: Sissi Liu
XIXI (WU YIN XI)
Since the early 1990s, I worked as an adoption facilitator for Americans who came to China to adopt children. I have traveled all over China for my adoption guide work. As adoptions slowed around 2009, I started to do birth family research work. I built a small team for this work; my team members and I have helped about 900 cases of birth family research through the years.
We provide three services with our team:
(1) Birth family research service—the client doesn’t come to China; we do the research for them.
(2) Birth family research guiding trip—the adoptee and family come to China to search in person.
(3) Homeland tours. No searching, just visiting China.
Important Note About DNA Testing for Birth Families
Depending on how public your search is, you may have a number of birth families come forward that don’t turn out to be a match for you. But they could be a match for another adoptee, and it would be a shame to lose the opportunity to allow them to find one another.
Please do all that you can to convince the birth family to do a DNA test to be added to one of the databases, preferably an SNP test uploaded to GEDmatch. While the STR test is easier since it’s most commonly available in China, it will only match parent to child. An SNP test provides matches to siblings, cousins and beyond and casts a much wider net.
For an SNP test, you can bring test kits with you, either FamilyTree DNA or 23andMe. Although 23andMe has the greatest number of adoptees in it, they don’t sell tests in China; however many families still use 23andMe kits for birth parent DNA and upload the kits themselves. The Chinese 23mofang test kits can also be used.
You can also get in touch with one of these organizations:
DNAConnect.Org will collect and process autosomal/SNP DNA for any birth family that is located and also stay in contact with them over the next 10 years or longer until a match is made. Please note that DNAConnect charges to release birth parent contact information – $50 if your donation is made before a match and $299 if made after a match (being waived in 2022 under a pilot project). However, if you provide contact information for a birth family in China, any future match to you through DNAConnect will also be free of fees to you.
Nanchang Project or The Roots of Love. Both Nanchang Project and Roots of Love are now adding birthparent DNA to GEDmatch through 23Mofang tests completed by birth parents in China. All matches are free of charge.
If you test a birth family, it is very important that you or your searcher commit to remaining in touch so that contact information can be provided to an adoptee down the road. You can also submit the birth family’s information to the ICSA database.