Type of Search Eligibility Cost Pros Cons
Confidential Intermediary Program Adoptees 18+, must show medical cause   @ $400 (can be less depending on availability of state stipends) Search is based on all records (obc, court docs, agency file) No identifying info is shared w/adoptee searching unless bp agrees to contact; can take several months for CI to gather docs need for search due to slow response of courts/agencies
Private or Public Agency Adoptees 18+, birth mother (father if he was involved in adoption), adopted siblings From $0 (smaller agencies) to $500 (CC Chicago, the Cradle) Search is based on agency file No identifying info is shared w/adoptee searching unless bp agrees to contact; some agencies "pick & choose" which searches they will take on; searches not always conducted using most effective search methods
Dept. of Children & Family Services Adoptees, adoptive & birth parents (case must have been handled by DCFS) Free Search based on DCFS (and contingent upon DCFS locating the file) No identifying info is shared w/adoptee searching unless bp agrees to contact; info found in DCFS file is sometimes insufficient to resolve search
Professional Searcher Adult adoptees, adoptive & birth relatives $50 (White Oak, volunteer searchers) to $1000 + up All info gathered is shared with searching party; ability to decide how initial contact will be made, lack of red tape, generally faster than agency searches Difficulty in locating persons who have common or falsified names or for whom only limited background info is available; some private searchers lack proper experience and qualifications

Last Updated on 1/1/2009