Search & Reunion

Helping people find their birth parents and children

reunion services

Caritas Search & Reunion Program

Caritas adoption department can offer guidance and support from skilled social workers to help you understand the type of information and services available, including:

  • Learning background information
  • Connecting with birth relatives
  • Receiving search and outreach tips, and more
Schedule a free 30 minute phone consultation with a post adoption social worker by calling Melyssa Frederick directly at 618-744-7297. You can also download a copy of our Search and Fee Agreement for more information.
This one-time phone call is available for anyone connected to a Caritas or past Catholic Charities through Southern Illinois adoption to discuss the type of information and services available based on your specific situation.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION (non-identifying information)
The amount of non-identifying social and medical background information available in records varies depending on the era in which the adoption was planned.
A Background Report can be requested by an adopted person aged 18 or older, an adult child (21 or older) of a deceased adopted person, a spouse of a deceased adopted person with a minor child, adoptive parents, a birth parent, a sibling (21 or older) of a deceased birth parent and a birth sibling (21 or older) of a person that was adopted where the common birth parent is deceased.

A Background Report that includes non-identifying information costs $150.

Names and other identifying information about birth parents may be available on the Original Birth Certificate. For Illinois births, visit OBC or call 877-323-5299 to learn more. For other states, contact the state’s adoption department.
An adoption registry allows for the exchange of identifying information between adopted people and birth parents. Click this link to register with The Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange.
Caritas offers Search and Connection services for adoptions we facilitated. The cost for this report is $250. Guidance is provided to help manage expectations, explore possible outcomes, navigate the process and experience of connecting, and support developing relationships. Schedule a 30 minute phone consultation with a post adoption social worker to learn more and get started by calling Melyssa Frederick directly at 618-744-7297.
For other options, visit Confidential Intermediary Service of Illinois or call 847-298-9096 to learn about the state of Illinois search program.
For Illinois births, a non-certified copy of the original birth certificate may be requested from the Illinois Department of Public Health. To be eligible, you must be an adopted person aged 21 or older, an adult (21 or older) of a deceased adopted person, or a birth parent.
For non-Illinois births, contact the state’s adoption department to determine eligibility.
For Illinois births, the legal birth certificate may be request from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records.
For non-Illinois births, contact the birth state’s vital records department. If that state is unable to locate your legal birth certificate, contact IARMIE at 877-323-5299 for assistance.

If Caritas Adoptions Services facilitated your adoption, we have your records and can assist you with the Search & Reunion process.

The Search & Reunion process for birth parents and adoptees completes the adoption life-cycle. Although not everyone desires to be reunited, many choose to search for several reasons:

  • To learn of family heritage
  • To attain updated family medical history not received at birth
  • To bring closure to unanswered questions
  • To resolve issues of loss and grief
  • To extend family and create positive relationships

You may choose to receive Non-Identifying Information. This includes legally releasable social and medical history found in our agency file. There may be a fee for pulling and copying records, redacting identifying information, and/or compiling a narrative from microfilm documents.

We can conduct a search for the purpose of acquiring updated social and medical history since the adoption. We can also conduct a search in hopes of a reunification. There may be a fee to cover the cost of things like internet searching, letter writing, postage, and phone calls. It is important to remember that for various reasons, some people choose not to be involved in the Search & Reunion process. Our caring staff are here to support and guide you through the process.


Your First Step: Register with the Illinois Adoption Registry in Springfield, Illinois. You may download registry forms from the following web site.

To update your contact information, receive a Search & Reunion packet, or to forward correspondence to any member of the Adoption Triad, contact us.

If you think you may have been adopted through the foster care system, you may contact the Midwest Adoption Center for assistance at:

On May 21, 2010, Gov. Pat Quinn signed House Bill 5428, which makes it possible for an adult adoptee to obtain a non-certified copy of his or her original birth certificate under certain circumstances. To review the bill provisions and to make a request visit: and click on the Illinois Adoption Registry box to the left.

Caritas Family Solutions is licensed by the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services License #003976.

Search & Reunion Information


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