Search and reunion
what is search and reunion?
Search and Reunion is the process wherein adopted individuals, or parents who placed children for adoption, seek to find the missing family member with assistance of the internet, requesting the opening of court records, or with the help of the placing entity.
In Hawai'i, the Open Records law ( HB2082) was signed on June 22, 2016, allowing any person over the age of 18, to request the court open their (previously closed) adoption records. This has allowed many adopted individuals and birth parents, to receive identifying information previously unavailable to them. In many cases birth parents and children have met and established new relationships as a result of this law.
Each State varies in how it defines adoption records law.
Genetic testing data bases such as 23&Me and Ancestry.com have also resulted in many stories of reconnecting family members.
The advent of social media and wide-spread access to larger audiences, has allowed some people to seek and successfully connect with lost family members.
If you were placed for adoption through Child & Families Service, Inc (in Hawai'i) (1950-2010), or Hawaii International Child (1975-2020), A Family Tree may be able to assist you in your search. In most cases we would refer you directly to the Hawaii Family Court where you would file papers to request your original adoption records.
A Family Tree encourages anyone considering a search and reunion to seek the support of a mental health professional before and during this process. AFT offers the Pono Roots Counseling Center as a resource with expert adoption-aware therapists.