Frequently asked questions
How long does a search take?
While there’s no way to know in advance how long a search will take, we’re often able to locate someone within a month or so. However, much of it depends on how clear the records are about contact information, which means some searches may take longer. Sometimes people move, which makes the search more difficult. Sometimes people change their names. In some situations, a relative may be deceased.
What if the person I’m searching for cannot be found?
Please understand that we’re dedicated to doing all that’s possible to locate your relative. We’re diligent and are also disappointed when we’re unable to find someone. Yet there may simply not be any information that can be found about the person we’re searching for. Sometimes, people may not want to be found.
Will my money be refunded if the person I’m searching for is not found?
No. Fees cover costs of the search. These include staff time, retrieving archived records, using search engines, counseling, consultations, etc.
What if the person I’m searching for is deceased?
We cannot contact relatives of deceased family members, according to Florida Statute Chapter 63.162. However, if the record clearly identifies certain relatives aware of the child’s adoption, we are allowed to contact those relatives.
Can you give identifying information to the person (birth parent, adoptee or adoptive parent) with whom I have been corresponding?
No. We do not give identifying information. If you choose, you can provide identifying information through correspondence with Children’s Home Society of Florida as intermediary. This is to protect confidentiality of all parties.
What if the person I’m searching for refuses contact?
We honor requests for no contact. However, we make every effort to provide updated medical history information for our adoptees when birth parents desire no contact. We recommend that you be prepared in case this happens, and be aware of the range of emotions that come with search and reunion. You may wish to also seek counseling from a professional familiar with adoption issues.
How much do services cost?
Updating information in archived adoption record: No fee
We invite you to update your contact information if you would like to be notified should your relative search for you.
Application: No fee
To apply for search-and-reunion services or to request non-identifying information, please complete the Request for Services form and send it to the address below. Once we process your request, we’ll send you the full application packet and information related to the search-and-reunion process.
Non-identifying background or medical background information: $300
Receive information about genetic and medical history as well as placement before adoption. No identifying information is given.
Search services and contact for updated information for one birth parent: $750
Search services and contact for updated information for both birth parents: $1,000
Our professional counselors will search diligently for your relative(s). With the consent of both parties, contact can be made either by correspondence without revealing identifying information or by revealing identity. We would serve as intermediary.
Discounted fee for non-identifying information
If you are requesting both non-identifying information and a search service, then the fee for non-identifying information will be reduced to $150.
Additional hours of professional search and counseling services: $150 per hour
Some situations require more time to search. If we are unable to locate your relative within the contracted time, we will contact you. If you would like us to continue the search, this charge will then apply. This doesn’t occur often.
We respect the privacy of all involved and seek to do what’s in the best interest of all members of the adoption triad: birth families, adoptees and adoptive families.
MEDICAL SITUATIONS: If a medical situation necessitates contact with a member of the adoption triad, please contact us at (904) 493-7780 or complete the Request for Services form. Please also send a signed medical statement from a physician explaining the need and urgency for the information; once we receive your application, medical statement and fee, your application will be processed the same as a search service. However, your application will be moved to the front of the waiting list.
Fees may be paid by personal check, money order, cashier's check, certified bank check or by charge to either Visa or MasterCard. Services will not be initiated until all fees are paid in full.
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