Department of Family Services – Children and Families

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

703-324-7500
TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building
Fairfax, VA 22035

Oriane Eriksen,
Director

Adoption Search

Looking for a loved one? Separated from biological family members by adoption?

person sitting at desk looking at computerIf the adoption was finalized through Fairfax County, we can help you to search for information that could help you make family connections.

Staff can provide valuable guidance and support as you process the information you find.

Adoption Search Frequently Asked Questions

What could a reunion look like?

on person emotional hugging another personAdoption disclosure reunions vary widely.

For some families, it might be letters and pictures exchanged through the agency. Some families prefer phone calls or contact through social media. For others, it might be face to face visits. Sometimes the agency is unable to locate the birth family or the birth family members do not respond to efforts to reach them. Again, the results can be different in each situation.

Is there support for adoptees conducting a search?

The adoption disclosure specialist will provide support and guidance throughout the process and even after the adoption disclosure case is completed. Depending upon where the adoptee resides, the specialist can seek out resources in their community. Resources may include support groups, books, webinars or adoption competent therapist referrals.

When can I search for my birth child?

For adoptions finalized after July 1, 1994, birth parents and adult birth siblings may request a search on or after the adopted child’s 21st birthday by completing the Birth Parent Application for Disclosure.

For adoptions finalized before July 1, 1994, birth parents, birth siblings and other birth family members may put letters and updates in the adoption record through the Relative Update to Adoption Record.

When can I search for my birth parent?

Individuals adopted in Virginia may request a search for their birth parents on their 18th birthday by filling out the Adoptee Application for Disclosure form.

If I request my record, what will I receive?

Individuals adopted in Virginia may request their non-identifying information which means that any identifying information (i.e. names, birth dates, addresses, of their birth parents) will be removed. In addition, the identities of anyone who can connect them to their birth parent will be redacted, such as social workers and attorneys.

What is the process to search? Is there a fee?

To request a search, individuals adopted in Virginia must fill out the Adoptee Application for Disclosure form. The form must be signed in the presence of a notary. Once complete, the form is sent to:

Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS)
Adoption Unit, 11th Floor
801 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

The Adoption Unit at VDSS will assign the search to the agency involved in the finalization of the adoption.

Fairfax County does not charge a fee for adoption disclosure searches.

Please note that some agencies charge a fee for an adoption disclosure search.

How long will the search process take?

Once assigned by VDSS, the agency conducting the search must provide a report of the progress of the search to VDSS in 90 days. If the search is not completed, the agency may request an extension for another 90 days. The length of time varies based on many factors, including the amount of information in the adoption record. Sometimes additional documents are needed and that may increase the length of time for the search.

What are the forms that I need to complete?

All adoption disclosure forms can be located on the VDSS website under Adoption Disclosure Forms.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant