Maybe you’ve always planned to search for your biological relatives and this seems like the perfect, long-awaited moment to start. Maybe you’ve agonized over this decision for many sleepless nights and finally agreed to give it a try. Or maybe it was a spur-of-the-moment decision, which almost even surprised yourself. Regardless of how this journey came to be, you have now moved past the “if” stage of trying to reconnect with your birth family and have reached the “how”. The process can appear daunting and it’s likely that you are wondering where to start. The mere idea of bureaucratic red tape, of running around after adoption records and paying steep private detective fees can be enough to bring anyone down.

However, if you’ve spent even a limited amount of time researching the best ways to find your biological relatives, it is likely that you may have already come across a simple, fast and elegant solution to your problem: using an adoption reunion registry. In many instances of this article, we’ll be using the Global Adoption Reunion Registry as the focal example and standard.

Here are the top-10 ways this fast and easy instrument can bring you closer to your lost family members as quickly and comfortably as possible.

1. It’s simple, comfortable and user-friendly

If you’ve had nightmares about walking from one public servant office to another, submitting requests for records which may be long lost, it’s time to sleep well again. That’s because adoption reunion registries are online, available to you at the click of a link from the comfort of your own living room. And don’t think you have to be a computer whiz to have access. The interface is intuitive, user friendly and the registration process is short and clear. It normally doesn’t take more than a few minutes to set up an account, even if you don’t have very much information about the person you’re looking for. By using an adoption reunion registry, many days of pointless trips, frustration and complicated bureaucracy can be avoided simply with a few minutes of inputting your information into a portal. And of course, the results of your search are at the press of a button.

2. It’s incredibly fast and effective

When embarking on your journey to seek your biological family you have probably braced yourself for what could be months or even years of fruitless search. Even if you are in possession of your adoption records and have some information about the people you are looking for, locating them can be difficult and time-consuming. However, by using an adoption reunion registry you have a real chance of finding your lost relatives instantly. Once you have registered to the platform and performed a search using the information available to you, that data is immediately cross-referenced against over a million existing profiles and your potential matches pop up on your screen in a matter of seconds.

Here’s an example: Samantha from Cleckheaton is thrilled to reveal: “I found my mom after the 1st message I sent! We had a bond straight away and I feel I’ve always been in her life. I have a lovely new extended family and am amazed how easy it has been to blend together. Thank you!”

Similarly, Kara from Springfield reports: “I filled out my profile and had a match to my birth parents that same day! We connected on Facebook and talked for a while to confirm that the match was accurate, and it was! We are all very excited to get to know each other!”

These are not exceptions, but common occurrences, given the powerful matching algorithm and massive usership. Imagine logging on to an adoption reunion registry and being only a few moments away from talking to your biological relatives! Even if you don’t get an instant match, your registration is fast and easy, and your profile has been added for potential matches at a later date. Very often people register within a short time of one another, which can be very exciting.

3. It shows that your biological relatives also want to meet you

One of the greatest causes of anxiety for someone having decided to look for their birth family is not knowing for sure how their biological relatives will react to being contacted out of the blue. Uncertainty of whether you’ll be met with open arms or with flat-out rejection can put a damper on the entire process. It can diminish the excitement of finally having located your lost kin. This aspect is resolved with an adoption reunion registry since the platform is based on mutual consent.

Adoption reunion registries only yield results when both parties opt to be reconnected. Complex matching algorithms find the connections between the information provided by two different users, both searching for their biological family. If either party doesn’t want to be found, they wouldn’t have registered in the first place. So you can rest assured that if you’re able to locate a birth relative through an adoption reunion registry, it’s most likely they would welcome getting in touch with you.

4. You don’t need to worry about data privacy

In this age of surveillance and data collection, it is natural to worry that your sensitive, private information might fall into the wrong hands. However, online adoption reunion registries are secure websites which abide by data protection laws including the very strict protocols of HIPAA regulation, taking all necessary measures to ensure your confidentiality. That means that your information will not be shared with or sold to third parties and will be stored securely on well-protected servers that are continuously monitored.

5. You are not geographically limited

If your adoption took place in a different state or if you and your biological family are currently living in different parts of the world, (possibly unbeknownst to you) it might be difficult to locate them using conventional methods. However, the Global Adoption Reunion Registry can help you find your birth relatives easily and quickly regardless of the location of the adoption or of the geographical distance between you. Even if you are in two separate corners of the world, if their profile is saved to the registry database you will be matched instantly and you will be able to exchange messages with them and be reconnected in a heartbeat.

6. You can search for all of your lost biological relatives

Searching for your biological relatives the traditional way (e.g. accessing adoption records) can be particularly difficult if you’re not looking for a parent or a child. Information about other family members is not often contained in the records you have access to and even in a case where it is, certain states/provinces limit your right to request official adoption information regarding your extended biological family. An online Adoption Reunion Registry has no such limitations. You can easily search for parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts/uncles or cousins, as few or as many of them as you’d like. The only requirement is them also be registered on the platform and willing to reconnect with you.

7. You don’t need to have very much information to go on

Don’t get discouraged if you only have very little information to go on regarding the birth family members you are looking for. An adoption reunion registry can function efficiently using very little data. That is because it has multiple ways in which you can search for your lost relatives, and has been built and adapted over decades of experience and member input. So, if you have any of the following: specific or approximate date and location of birth, and answer to whether you have had contact since the adoption, and whether the adoption took place at birth or later in childhood, you can search by any of these and still have a good chance of finding a match. Since you receive all of your matches (even close but not exact ones) you are able to find matches that would otherwise not be obvious to you.

In a case where you don’t know anything about the birth family outside the fact that they’re biologically related? Some adoption reunion registries offer the convenient and highly reliable option of using your family tree’s natural signature: your DNA. You can simply take a DNA test, upload the resulting data into the platform, and it will immediately let you know if you share relevant genetic markers with any other users who have done the same.

8. It can provide support and community

The process of searching for your birth family is often difficult, fraught with mixed emotions and can take a significant psychological toll. You may feel the need to be supported on this journey by others who have been where you are and who can understand exactly what you are going through. Some adoption reunion registries have built communities of users who are there to provide each other with companionship, advice, hope, support, encouragement, and the occasional shoulder to cry on. Everyone there has lived through the experience of having been separated from biological relatives and setting out on a quest to find them. Some of their journeys had a happy end, some have ended more difficultly, and others are still searching, filled with hope of one day being reunited with lost family members. Know that the community is there to lend a helping hand and a sympathetic heart to a fellow traveler in need.

9. Global registries are superior to state-run adoption registries

There is usually little room for comparison between a global, mutual-consent, online adoption reunion registry and a state-run adoption registry. State-owned registries are often limited in both the amount of information they can provide and the logistics of providing it. Most such facilities are confined to the jurisdiction of a certain state, so if the adoption was out-of-state before or after the time of adoption, they are unlikely to yield any useful results. They are also not normally able to process complex information requests such as operating with missing data or with DNA profiles. Moreover, the process of querying them is painstaking in itself, as it is often required to be there in person or to submit a physical copy of your application to access their records. Understaffing frequently makes response times slow and the support they offer for performing the search is generally limited. There is also a lot if feedback that this approach to searching can lead to a very push-back type of experience overall, which is not appreciated since it is already a very emotional situation for most.

Using the Global Adoption Reunion Registry, however, eliminates all these shortcomings. It provides you with a simple and easy to use interface which allows you to perform your own custom searches using complex data, without ever needing to get off your chair. And the results can come from anywhere in the world.

10. It gives you hope for the future

Working so hard to build up your courage to start the search for your birth family, investing time, resources, hopes and dreams into this process only to have it reach a dead end can be heartbreaking. However, using an adoption reunion registry means never having to throw in the towel. Even if your search initially reveals no trace of the relatives you were looking for, there is always room for hope, because it doesn’t mean it never will. Simply having your query in the system means that one day very soon your birth family may create their own profile and come searching for you—and the moment they do, there will be a match. Since more and more people are using these amazing tools every day, your chances of being found by lost kin is always increasing. In the worst-case scenario, you have nothing to lose and in the best case scenario, you will one day wake up to the message you have been waiting for so long.