FAQ (Searching for Family)

Thank you to everyone who has written me! I’m sorry I cannot respond to each of you individually. It’s been difficult for me to keep up with all of the comments, Facebook messages, and emails I receive. (I think that’s pretty awesome, by the way. I LOVE the support! You will never know how much it means to me.)

I have been getting lots of the same questions/comments lately, so I decided to address them here. I’ll try to keep the answers short, sweet, and easy to read, but it will be difficult because I love to talk (uh… type).

1. “Can you help me find my family?”
I wish I could. I am no expert. I am relying on volunteers and Facebook shares to help me. You can also look into online registries (many are free), and there are also lots of Facebook groups dedicated to helping adoptees find their families. If you want, you can email me a picture and your information and I will gladly post about your search on my blog!

2. “Why don’t you just get your original birth certificate?”
It’s not that simple. I need to petition the court first, and then it will take about six weeks before I will receive it. I have sent a request to find out which court handled my adoption, and as of this date, I’m still waiting on a response. Of course, even if I do receive my original birth certificate, my search will not be over.

3. “Have you registered at…?”
Yep. I have signed up with pretty much every online registry out there. At least, the free ones. And I signed up on the Texas Voluntary Adoption Registry. Unfortunately, my birth family has to register, too, in order for them to work.

4. “Why don’t you hire a lawyer/private investigator/try Omnitrace, etc.?”
I have many volunteers working to help me. I have no intention of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars trying to track someone down who might not even want to be found.

5. “Have you tried Troy the Locator?”
This one has earned its own separate answer because I get asked this so often. I signed up with his registry and searched his website, but like I stated above, I’m not interested in paying anyone to find my family.

6. “Do you have any names?”
Not at the moment. I don’t know my parents’ names or my siblings’ names, first OR last. I don’t even know for sure how many siblings I have or whether they are brothers and/or sisters. (“Jessica Hernandez” is my adoptive name, not my original name.)

7. “Why don’t you just ask your adoptive parents?”
They have already given me all the information that they have.

8. “Doesn’t your adoption agency have all this information?”
I’m sure they do, but since mine is a “closed” adoption, all they can give me is the non-identifying information.

9. “Can the agency find your birth parents for you?”
Yes, for $150 per person. I did sign up with their registry though, so if my birth parents contact them looking for me, they will release my information.

10. “What if they don’t want to be found?”
Then they won’t contact me. And if I find them, I’m sure they will let me know that they don’t want contact. This is not a reason to stop searching for who I am and where I come from.

11. “You should just be grateful you are adopted.”
Or “You’re REAL family is the one who raised you.”
Or even “Why do you care about your [first] mother when she threw you away like garbage?”
Yes, I’ve literally been called “garbage.”
Comments like these are unhelpful & unnecessary. Do not assume you know me, my feelings toward my adoption, or my relationship with my adoptive parents, even if you read my blog. It’s important to know that even though there are happy adoption stories out there, many adoptees did not grow up in happy homes. So don’t assume you know someone’s family better than they do.

Thankfully, for the most part, everyone has been extremely kind. I have had so many amazing messages of support, encouragement, and LOTS of advice I can actually use! In fact, I would not be where I am now in my search without the volunteers who are helping me. I am extremely grateful for all of you!

Anyway, that’s it for now. If you have a question that isn’t listed here, let me know and I’ll try to answer as best I can.