Adoption Professionals → Birth Family Relationships

Search and Reunion: Important Consideration for Adoptees

The rise of mail-in genetic testing and the increasing transparency in many states around adoptee birth records have created many new opportunities for children who were adopted to reunite with members of their biological family. When that search and reunion process happens, it can be a joyous occasion. It can also end poorly for one or more parties if they are not ready for this communication and relationship. This course focuses on how to prepare and guide members of the adoption community to participate in these relationships, including setting expectations, understanding motivations, and options for utilizing intermediaries and others to help facilitate a smooth and healthy relationship.

Debbie Riley, LCMFT – CEO, Center for Adoption Support and Education

Course length: 60 minutes

After attending this course, professionals will be able to:
• Examine why adopted persons seek connection
• Identify common fears, questions and concerns of all circle members involved in search and reunion
• Give examples of strategies for handling common post-reunion relationship challenges
• Discuss the impact of technology, social media, and DNA testing on search and reunion.
• Demonstrate how adoptive professionals can take a proactive approach in discussing openness and search and reunion with adoptees and their families.
• Identify important ethical considerations for adoption professionals when supporting adoptees and adoptive families through the search and reunion process.

Course level: Beginning, Intermediate
Credit type: Ethics CE

Cost to register: $15
If you are a NCFA member, look for your discount code in the membership portal.


National Council For Adoption, #1804, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 04/13/2023 – 04/13/2026. Social workers completing this course receive 1 ethics continuing education credit.

This course does not offer credit for NJ or NY social workers. For more information on receiving CE credit please visit the FAQ tab. For additional information on the instructor please visit

Recorded on November 2, 2022.
  • Search and Reunion: Important Considerations for Adoptees - Video
  • Search and Reunion: Important Considerations for Adoptees - Post-Test
  • Search and Reunion: Important Considerations for Adoptees - Evaluation
Completion rules
  • All units must be completed
  • Leads to a certificate with a duration: Forever