Read these 5 Census Records Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Genealogy tips and hundreds of other topics.
The census records are marvellous sources of information - but they can be a bit like Chinese whispers in writing! Remember that they have been written down from what people have said - the head of the household to the enumerator - then they have been copied. Finally, if you are using an online index, the indexers have often made mistakes in trying to decipher the old writing. When searching the online indexes, try taking out the place of birth - these have often been indexed incorrectly.
The first, and perhaps only, place to register should be with 'The International Soundex Reunion Registry'. This Registry is the largest, free, mutual consent reunion registry in the world, and "serves the needs of birth family members who have been separated from each other by adoption, divorce, fostercare institutional care, abandonment, etc."
The International Soundex Reunion Registry
The first step to starting a search for an adoptee or birth parents is to obtain all 'non-identifying information.' This information may include: Religion, Profession, Education Level, Ethnic Origin, Height, Weight, Hair Color, Eye Color, Cause of Death, Age at Death, Health Status/Medical History.
This information, depending upon state-by-state law and guidelines can usually be given to either the adoptee, the adoptive parents, and to the birthparents. This is the first step!
Many governments now have in place a system called "confidential intermediary." The CI is given access to the complete court and/or agency file, attempts to locate the individuals involved. If the CI makes contact, the party found has the option of allowing or refusing contact by the party searching.
To help in your genealogy research, be sure to register in any and all applicable State and/or National Reunion Registries. These are sometimes called 'Mutual Consent Registries.'
Registries work in this way: Each member of what is called the 'adoption triad' (child, birth parent, adoptive parent) can sign up with the registry. The registry tries to match each individual with someone else who may be searching for them.