a division of Discovery Groups, LLC
ADOPTION LOCATES & REUNIONS
Q & A Some of our most common questions answered
How long have you been doing adoption locates in Arizona? We have been in business for two decades handling adoption locates in most states, we have been licensed in Arizona as CI's for over ten years.
What is your success rate on finding the birth parents, siblings, or birth child? We have successfully handled close to one thousand adoption locates and reunions. Our success rate is about 97%. The few we have not found had very common names and the adoption took place decades ago, one had lied about all their information in the file, and another was from a large city in Mexico and only used a partial name.
The adoption was finalized in Arizona: Many adoptions were finalized in Arizona but that does not mean the mother was from Arizona or that the child was adopted to parents in Arizona. Arizona had quite a few organizations that helped to house & educate mothers until the baby was born and they would also facilitate the adoption. A few of these are Catholic Charities, LDS, and Florence Crittenton. Mothers came here from all over the country to discretely give birth and return home. About 70% of the birth parents and children we find were from or adopted to parents in another state.
I only want medical information I or my child has a condition: Up until the 80's most agencies did not think to ask a detailed family medical history. Most thought your health was primarily environmental not genetic. You can get a better history by having us locate and contact them for that reason. If you decide you would also like contact we can facilitate that also.
I am scared but have made up my mind to find them and find out about them. That is perfectly normal. It is not an easy decision to make for most. That is why we are there to locate them from the information you have been told and what is in the adoption file, make first contact to find out if they also want contact. This is the part where you have to be patient. You are ready, but they are not and may not even know this program exist allowing it. Mothers and the adopting parents were told the file was sealed and that NO ONE could ever know about anything in the file that would identify individuals or how to contact each other. Even birth certificates are amended. We are going to call them in the middle of life and it will be a shock even if this is what they have always wanted. It can take a few hours to a month or two for them to decide. Some have not told their families so they have to decide how to brooch that first. A few never want contact. If that happens we get as much family history for you as we can on health issues, hobbies and occupations. Often they are a match.
I was contacted and do not know what this means legally: If we have reached out to you either your child or your birth parent is looking for you through the Arizona CI program. First RELAX, we are not allowed to give ANY information to our client unless you agree. You are in the driver's seat and can take your time to make this decision. If you decide you want contact you can dictate how. Many start with a letter or e-mail and pictures long before deciding on having a meeting. Also you have to sign an affidavit for us to be able to give you or them any identifying information. What fees will I be charged for this service? Pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-134(I) and A.R.S. § 8-543, ... A confidential intermediary may charge clients an amount not to exceed the fees listed in this subsection for adoption search related services. 1. Initial Search Set-Up Fee $100.00 (This is a one time fee the confidential intermediary may charge and collect for services that result in search services. These services include initial review and consultation related to services.) 2. Investigation/Research Hourly Rate $100.00 (Maximum rate allowable.) 3. Bookkeeping/Travel Hourly Rate $ 50.00 (Maximum rate allowable.) 4. Direct Costs and Expenses Billable at Rates Incurred. It is up to each CI to charge for their services at an agreed upon rate. Most hourly rates are between $55 - $85 an hour, plus expenses. Expenses can be for court research fees, making a motion to get a copy of the original birth certificate, travel to courts or to make contact. Can you do the locate if I was born in another state other than Arizona? Yes we can search in most states and other countries and are very successful. I believe I have Indian heritage. I need to find my birth parents to prove this. Most tribes are requiring a search of Arizona Vital Statistics birth records. They look to see if either parent or grandparent lists Indian heritage as their nationality and to match their names against enrolled members. We have been assisting in this. This is a process that can take months at times. We can also do DNA collection to prove you are related to a tribal member. The other party must also agree to this sample collection for it to be valid.
Why does being a CI and an investigator matter? Each have their own strengths in helping to do a successful locate. You get the power of a state licensed investigation firm with our extensive training and experience in locates and interviewing, databases and research capabilities only investigators have access to PLUS the power of being a state licensed Confidential Intermediary able to go into sealed juvenile adoption records to get the names, date of birth, addresses and other pertinent identifying information to locate the correct parties. Private investigators do not have access to the sealed records unless they are also a licensed CI.
As confidential intermediaries, we are the go between's for you, the courts and the person you are asking us to locate.
Your Birth Parents, Siblings, or your Birth Child.
About the CI program in AZ -
The Arizona Confidential Intermediary Program was established by the Arizona State Legislature in 1992, by enacting A.R.S. 8-134 (Adoption triad ( birth mother, adoptive parents, adoptee child.member searches). The courts realized they had a problem when so many children and parents were looking for each other. That is why they started this program to allow the parties to find each other while still keeping the promise made years ago at adoption, that it would be kept private.
The program is based on TWO PARTY CONSENT because both parties were guaranteed the files were sealed forever. No sharing of identifying information is allowed without both parties in agreement.
In 2007, the Arizona State Legislature extended the role of a Confidential Intermediary Program to include the Sibling Information Exchange (SIX) by enacting A.R.S. 8-543, which provides former dependent children the ability to locate, and stay in touch with, siblings separated by a dependency action. Under both statutes, Confidential Intermediaries are provided access to court records in order to obtain information necessary to locate the sought after party.
You must be 18 to initiate a search or have your adoptive parents do it with you.
ADOPTION LOCATES & REUNIONS
Discovery Detective Group