I became involved in birth mother location after Guatemalan adoption activity came to a virtual halt as a result of Guatemala becoming a party to the United Nations Hague Conventions on Inter-country Adoptions. After the Guatemalan adoptions ended, I discovered that there was an interest by some adoptive parents and kids who were adopted in locating the birth mother or parents.
There are various reasons adoptive parents want to learn about the biological family. Many adoptive parents are now interested in having what is known as an open adoption, where the adoptive parents seek out the birth mother of their adopted child, allowing the child to be aware of and have pride in their cultural identity and where appropriate, permitting contact between the child and biological mother. Others just want to have knowledge of health and genetic information on the family and to obtain relevant family history information.
Some children who were adopted over the past few decades also want to find birth parents for a variety of reasons. Some are just curious to know more about their heritage. Others seek to have unanswered questions resolved.
Different types of search cases
Most birth mother searches have a lot in common. Many adoptive families have lots of documents that they can provide. I am able to review documents at no charge to assess the degree of difficulty a search may involve. Usually there is a Protocolo, which is the actual adoption decree. Also, there is often an Informe Socio Economico, or Social Study. Then there is a birth certificate – sometimes both pre and post adoption, a Consentimiento de la Madre – the birth mother’s consent to the adoption, and often a copy of the birth mother’s Cedula, which is the mother’s national ID booklet. We have successfully done searches with only a few of these documents, but the more documents, the better the chances of locating the birth mother.
The cost of a typical search is $1,800.00. We get a retainer of $500.00 to cover the initial expenses of the search and the balance is due only if we are successful in locating the birth mother, or relatives of the birth mother in the event that the birth mother may be deceased. A few cases proved to be more difficult and we did have to charge a bit more, but any additional cost is first cleared with the client. We have done more than 25 searches and were successful in all but a few, which are still in progress.
Many of the adoptions took place in a large population center like Guatemala City, but most birth mothers are actually from indigenous villages in remote regions of the country where the locals are not trusting of non Mayans snooping around and asking questions. Many times, local, non indigenous searchers are at a loss as to how to make inquiries in such areas. This often makes the search challenging.
To get around many of the problems of gaining the trust of the locals, I have recruited an associate in Guatemala, Oliva Cleotilde Lopéz Peréz. She is a university educated indigenous Mayan who not only speaks Spanish but whose native language is Kaqchikel, one of the more common Mayan dialects. “Oly” can usually gain the trust needed to assist with even the most difficult cases. She can be found on Facebook facebook.com/CLEOLIVA.
I have primarily focused on doing searches in Guatemala due to the high number of adoptions from there. However, I have extensive travel experience with and am able to do searches throughout Mexico, Central and South America.
Payment and Fees
I can review and evaluate your case for free and give you a cost of the search based on what information you can send me about the birth mother/ family, professionals involved and any other information that can be provided.
For an additional fee we can provide (1) a thorough report of the search including information/ stories/ anecdotes gathered from visiting with the family, (2) obtaining basic family medical information from available records, (3) providing video and photographs of the family and (4) facilitating initial contact with and/ or acting as liaison to the birth mother and family for a period of time. The fee depends on how much additional information is desired.
We can also arrange a trip for a meeting with the biological mother and family when located, if you desire to meet with them.
Realizing that reconnecting birth mother with the child or with adoptive parents can be a very sensitive undertaking; every effort is made to facilitate the reconnection with the goal of making it a pleasant and positive experience for all, while fully respecting matters of confidentiality.
If you are interested in locating a birth mother or just want to learn more about this service, call or email today for a free consultation and assessment of you case. – (512) 736-0771 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to protect client confidentiality, names are not included. If you wish to contact a client for further feedback, I will pass the request on to them to get their permission to be contacted.
Hi Loel, my parents had given me the news that you had found my birth mother, and I cannot thank you and Oliva enough for everything that you have done.
My compliments on the speedy resolution in the search of ____’s birth mom.
Just wanted to let you know that ____ has written a letter to her mother- and we so appreciate all you help in making this happen for her- we will continue to keep you updated!
Thank you for all your hard work, you’ve been successful, and I’m so grateful!!