A search is a lot like a voyage...an incredible journey from a land populated by familiar, imaginary creatures...to an unknown territory where the truth really can "set you free."

Like any important trip we take in life, this one will go a lot more smoothly if you've done your homework, carefully prepared your itinerary, and know where to turn to for advice or assistance should you get lost along the way.

By the time most searching triad members decide to take their quest to the Web, they have already completed a lot of the "advance research" for their journey. The majority of the adoptees, adoptive parents and birth parents selecting this section of our site have probably already made the decision to search, but it's possible that you're not quite there yet...that you're still debating the merits of searching (accessing health and other background information or knowing what became of your surrendered son or daughter or sibling and providing him or her with life-saving health information) vs. the risks (possible rejection, or being unable to resolve the search). If so, you may want to check out our Research and Education section where you'll find statistics (based on over 400 Illinois adoption searches) that should allay some of your fears...you'll also find a wide range of suggested reading in the same section that may give you a better idea of the road that lies ahead...A lot of triad members will also find it helpful at this point in their journey to attend a meeting of an adoption support group in their local area (see our "Support & Advocacy" section for a comprehensive list of Illinois adoption support groups).

But, if you have truly made the decision to search, this section was designed for you. In it you'll find helpful advice on Preparing Your Search and answers to the #1 question for most searching triad members: What Do You Do When You Have A Name?  

Should you hit a brick wall, the What Do You Do When You Have A Name? section also outlines several alternatives to searching on your own, including White Oak's at-cost Search Assistance Program.

If you have already successfully located the object of your birth quest, you may be interested in initiating contact through White Oak's free Outreach Program...or find helpful guidance in the "Reconnecting" section of this site.

If you have any questions about searching in general or your search in particular that have not been answered on this Web site, please give us a call.

If you have any questions about any of the terms used in this section, please consult our Glossary.


e-mail:  ILtreesurgeon@aol.com

phone: 312-666-5722