Search & Reunion
What is Search?
A search is establishing a personal connection with people from your past. If an adopted person wishes to have contact with their birth parents, the agency is required by law to serve as an intermediary in the search.
Searching is a complicated process of locating people whose lives may have changed a great deal. Permission of all parties involved is required before any direct contact is possible, and the search process moves at the pace of all parties involved. Nebraska Children’s Home Society is always accessible to all members of a search, the adoptee, birth parent(s) and adoptive parents.
The motivation may include any or all of the following reasons:
· Seeking a true genealogical, medical or historical sense of self
· Seeking answers to lifelong questions
· Wanting to know if another person is alive and well
· Possessing a desire to express love
· Wanting to resolve a sense of disconnection or loneliness
Whether you are ready to search or you have questions about the process, the first step is to contact Nebraska Children’s Home Society. At any age, we welcome any questions you have and will do our best to assist and support you during the process. In addition, we can help prepare you before you begin searching.
In all searches, Nebraska Children’s Home contacts people in a confidential and respectful manner. We assure you that whenever we do make a search, it will be done as discreetly as possible.
Having Questions is Normal
As an adopted person, you may not feel the need to search and have personal contact with a birth parent; however, you may still have many unanswered questions. We believe that it is normal to have questions and to want to know where you came from. As well, it is normal for birth parents to want to know about their birth child.
These questions may be answered through information from the agency records. This “non-identifying” information may include physical descriptions, nationalities and medical backgrounds.
Obtaining Medical Records
We have numerous inquiries about obtaining medical records. We understand that this information is very important and helpful. However, the Nebraska Children’s Home Society does not always have that information in our records, especially if the placement took place some time ago. We may not have a detailed medical history simply because that information was not available many years ago. For current medical history, it may be necessary to contact the birth parent(s).
Fears Involved with Searching
As an adopted person, you may be fearful of being disloyal to your adoptive parents or being rejected by the birth family. As adoptive parents, you may be fearful of what your children will find and how searching may affect your relationship. These concerns are shared by many. Generally we find that, contrary to these fears, searching strengthens and enhances the relationship within the adoptive family.
As a birth parent, you may wonder how your birth child is doing, but are afraid to call. Your questions are always welcome and it is never intrusive to call the agency. You may also be fearful of not living up to your birth child’s expectations. However, searching is generally a positive and healing process.
Seeking a Sense of Self
No matter what you find, the whole process of searching can be therapeutic and healing. It is generally a positive experience that allows you to have a better sense of self. Sometimes knowing the truth is better than imagining or living with false fantasies.
There is No Timeline
Searching is like a relationship. It is not something you rush into or have a timeline to complete. It is an on-going process. In this relationship, the other individual may not be as eager or ready as you are. Our job as the agency is to assist you during the entire search process, prepare you for the potential relationship and provide support for the reunion aftermath.
We continue each step of the process as soon as you tell us you are ready to move on. It is the parties involved that drive the pace of the search, not the agency. When you call, it is up to you to decide when you are ready to continue
How much does it Cost to Search?
As you may be aware, Nebraska Children’s Home Society charges no fees –the only adoption program in the country to completely rely upon donations to operate. In order to support our services, we will add your name to our mailing list and will encourage you to give back through your time, talents and treasures.
Updating Your Information
For anyone wanting to be available, please send us your current address, new last name (if changed), any medical updates and phone number. This allows us to locate you if we need to share medical information or if someone is hoping to find you. We welcome and appreciate any information you are able to provide to us.
Tell Us Your Story
If you have a reunion/search story, let us know too! We are always looking for stories to feature and to share with others in similar situations. We want to hear your story!
Feel Free to Contact Us
We can be contacted through email, mail or telephone. We welcome all inquiries from anyone affected by post adoption: birth parents, adoptive parents, relatives and those adopted through our agency. When emailing the Nebraska Children’s Home, please include your name, address, date of birth and daytime phone number. If you are a birth parent, include your name at the time you made your adoption plan. If you are an adoptee, include the names of your adoptive parents.
To reach our post adoption caseworker contact Kim Schenkelberg, by calling (402) 451-0787.