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Help finding adopted siblings in North Dakota

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This is for a a friend, she found out right before her mother passed that she has a few (2 brothers?) that were put up for adoption in North Dakota.  She has lost her father too and is all alone.  She would really like to find her siblings not necessarily to start a relationship but she would love that, she just wants to say hi and let them know that they are not alone in the world either.  She just feels all alone in the world.

She tried to get records from the capitol but the laws in ND are pretty harsh about releasing info.  She doesn't have a lot of money and can't hire a service.  Any suggestions on how she could go about this?

by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 2:46 PM
Replies (31-36):
by Platinum Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 3:18 AM
Adoption message boards?
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by Silver Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 3:23 AM
For what it's worth- siblings are the best part of reunion IMHO.

I'd also suggest your friend find and network with a North Dakota search and support group. You do have to prepare for 'anything' you might find. Rejection, or people you'd rather not associate with, or a grave or whatever. It's a scarey thing to open doors to the unknown. Convince her she should go in prepared, and supported by other triad members who've been there done that. And they can offer search assistance from that area. It's very worthwhile her time if there's a support group nearby.
Don't listen to the naysayers. We could "what-if" all night long. She won't know till she hears it from the horses mouth.
That's the beauty in all this. You will not have to worry or fear the unknown. You'll know the truth.
Good Luck!
Open records NOW!

Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota
PO Box 389
Fargo, ND 58107-0389
(701) 235-7341
by Silver Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 10:12 AM  in the comment section of this page there are some email addresses.  In a small town in North Dakota there will be someone who knows all about it and maybe could help? 

by on Feb. 27, 2013 at 12:03 PM
We always tried to explain it since she was small but she didnt understand.. so eventually we stopped trying to explain it. She was about ten when someone at school told her that our mom was too old to be her mom so she asked. It completely changed her. When she was 15 she began having a lot of identity issues. Said that we didnt love her, that her own mother didn't want her. She reached out to her bio mother and tried to force them back into their lives. My mother cried so hard when she started calling her bio mom "mom" and my mother by her first name. When she was born..she came to our home after leaving the hospital. We raised her since she was five days old. She was spoiled rotten and had everything she ever asked for no matter if we had to pawn items or borrow money to get it... it still isnt enough for her. If my mother and her argue she automatically comes out with, " but you're not my real mother fuck it, im not listening to you." It became really bad when her bio mother banned her from her home because her other children did not want her there. They didn't know she was their sister.. and her bio mother told her that she was going to tell them but slowly. That wasn't good enough for my sister and she told them herself and said that their mother didn't want her so she gave her up. The children no longer wanted her there. I wish more than anything we never told her.

Quoting adopteeme:

Quoting marinenonstop:

How old was your sister when she was told?

I can't even fathom being a late discovery adoptee. That would be the ultimate mind blow.

Identity issues ten fold.


This will give your friend somewhere to start:

North Dakota Century Code 14-15-16 provides that an adopted individual, a birth parent, or a birth sibling of an adopted individual may initiate a search for the adoptee/ birth parent. As of August 1, 2003, an adult child of a deceased adopted individual may also initiate a search.

Searches may be made for either non-identifying information or for identifying information. When completing an identified search, a request for updated medical information may be made.

An adopted individual may request a search when they reach age 18.

A birth parent or birth sibling may request a search when the adopted individual being sought reaches age 21.

The law requires individuals involved in the search process to consent to the release of identifying information about themselves.

The search agency must make personal and confidential contact with the person being sought to request their consent.

The licensed child placing agency that facilitated the adoption, or (if a facilitating agency cannot be identified) a licensed child placement agency of the searcher's choice completes the search.

Search agencies may charge a fee for the search.

Types of Information Made Available

Non-identifying information about the adopted adult and the adopted adult's birth relatives may include:

Date and place of the adopted adult's birth

Age of the birth parents and a description of their general physical appearances

Race, ethnicity, religion, and medical history of the birth parents

Type of termination of parental rights

Facts and circumstances relating to the adoptive placement

Age and sex of children of the birth parents at the time of adoption

Educational levels of the birth parents and their occupations, interests, or skills

Any supplemental information about the medical or social conditions of members of the birth family provided since the adoption was complete.

Medical history is rarely updated, making the information as old as the adopted adult. Past records may contain sparse information collected at the time of the adoption either because a birth mother was hesitant to disclose information or because adoption agencies, private facilitators, and lawyers did not place importance on this information at the time. State laws now require collection of more information at the time of the adoption for full disclosure of heath and background information to the adoptive parents.

More recent medical information may be obtained by requesting the agency search for the birth family and ask them to provide updated medical information.

Identifying information may lead to the positive identification of an adopted adult, birth mother, or birth father. Names, addresses, and dates contained in court records or submitted to the state Department of Health, Division of Vital Records, are usually considered identifying information.

Obtaining an Original Birth Certificate

An adoptee must petition a court to order the North Dakota Department of Health's Division of Vital Records to release the original birth certificate (see NDCC 23-02.1-18).

For further information, individuals may contact the Division of Vital Records at (701) 328-2360.

Starting an Adoption Search

Contact the Department of Human Services for the forms to begin the adoption search, or access through the State's Electronic Forms Web site. The form numbers required are: SFN 940, Search/ Disclosure Request and SFN 1992, Release of Information - Search/ Disclosure. When you have completed the forms, you may forward to the licensed child placing agency that facilitated the adoption (see Licensed Adoption Agencies in ND). If you do not know which agency was involved in the adoption, you may forward to the Department's Adoption Service Unit, Children and Family Services Division. If you know the agency that will conduct the search, you should enclose the fee payment, made payable to the agency. The Department does not conduct the search, so no fee payment should be made to the Department. If you have questions about the fee payment, please phone 701-328-2316.

Contact the child-placing agency that was involved with the adoption, if known.

A child-placing agency will conduct the search process. Should you request identifying information or non-identifying information not on file, please keep in mind that North Dakota law provides that a child-placing agency has a period of three months to make reasonable effort to notify the adopted adult/ genetic parents/siblings of your request.

Fees for Adoption Search

State Statute allows the licensed child-placing agency to charge a fee for services. Each agency has established a fee for services for both identifying and non-identifying information. Currently established fees are:.

Catholic Charities North Dakota

Identifying Information - $400.00

Non-identifying Information - $75.00

Christian Family Life Services

Identifying Information - $400.00

Non-identifying Information - $75.00

Lutheran Social Services

Identifying Information - $450.00

Non-identifying Information - $100.00

The Village Family Service Center

Identifying Information - $450.00

Non-identifying Information - $100.00

No information can be provided until the appropriate fee is paid. Please make your check out to the appropriate agency if you are forwarding forms to the Department.


 Edit: since there is a fee, have her start out with non-Id. There may be additional clues for searching. Personally- I would not suggest spending money on the privilege of the State or agency conducting search/contact on her behalf. Save that as a last effort. I can tell you how this doesn't work for everyone and she may be out the money with NO results!


South Dakota

Voluntary Adoption Registry

The South Dakota Department of Social Services maintains a Voluntary Adoption Registry of adoptees and natural parents who have consented to the release of identifying information about themselves. All consents indicate to whom the information may be released and whether the adoptee desires release of this identifying information after his or her death. A person who uses this voluntary register may revoke consent at any time.

The purpose of the registry is to facilitate voluntary contact between adoptees 18 years or older who were born in South Dakota and their birth parents. Siblings of the adopted person 18 or older may also register. In the event that a match occurs, the Department of Social Services will notify you by mail.

The registry is passive, meaning the Department of Social Services does not search for adoptees or for birth parents whose names are not included in the registry.

Register with the South Dakota Voluntary Adoption Registry:

Print Form

Online Form

Completed forms should be mailed to:

Department of Social Services

Division of Child Protection Services

Adoption Unit

700 Governors Drive

Pierre, SD 57501

For more information:

Please contact the Adoption Unit at (605) 773-3227.

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by Silver Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 2:33 PM
Quoting marinenonstop:

Sorry to hear about your sisters struggles.
Do you really think you could have been succesful in keeping the info that she was adopted away from her forever?
by on Feb. 27, 2013 at 2:45 PM
Yes. She's not of different ethnicity. She looks exactly like me. When i did tell people she was adopted they didn't believe it because she looks so much like me. There is a twelve yr gap between my oldest siblings and myself..and there's a twelve yr gap between she and i. We could've def kept it from her.

Quoting adopteeme:

Quoting marinenonstop:

Sorry to hear about your sisters struggles.

Do you really think you could have been succesful in keeping the info that she was adopted away from her forever?

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