Searching for birth families can be a complex and emotional journey. The ICANZ team are here to support you. We're happy to share our personal experiences of finding and maintaining contact with birth relatives. We can advise you on the various ways this can be done.
The I'm Adopted group is an excellent resource for adult adopted people interested in search or just in connecting with other adopted people. Check out both their website and facebook page.
The Birth Parent Contact discussion group is for international adoptive parents who are contemplating searching for or contacting their child's birth parents or birth family (inc. extended family and birth siblings); and for those who've already made contact.
The Post Adopt Birth Parents Seek discussion group is for adoptive parents who've adopted a child from Russia or the former Soviet Union. The group aims to answer the many questions adoptive parents have about contacts, methods used, advise on the probabilities of success and offer practical, free help where possible.
It is wise to read widely and talk to others to prepare yourself for contacting your birth family. Here are two articles that show some of the challenges. http://nowwhat.cog7.org/the_pain_after_reunion/ and http://unlockingtheheart.com/the-recovery-process-post-reunion
Remember that adopted Russian children/young people must enter Russia on their Russian passport, not their New Zealand one. Renewing Russian passports can take up to 9 months. You'll have to make a visit to the Consulate in Wellington and need a translator to help fill in the application. It takes time, so don't book trips until you have a current passport. Other members of your family will need visas - these take time too.
More information is on our Passports page
Search and Reunion Articles
Information summarised from the Adoption Reunion Handbook.