Whether you’re an adult who was adopted as a child, a birth parent, or a biological family member, CHS can help you reconnect. We capture updates and facilitate letter exchanges during which all parties remain anonymous to one another. In some cases, we can also begin a search to help you reconnect directly with your family member.
Updating Your File
All adoptees, birth families, and adoptive parents are always encouraged to update their file with pertinent medical information, letters, and current contact information. To update your file, contact CHS today. There is no fee for this service.
Non-Identifying Letter Exchange between Birth and Adoptive Parents
We help families stay in touch through non-identifying letters – after an adoption has been finalized, and typically years after the finalization. A CHS social worker can conduct a search for the birth family or adoptive parents and request non-identifying letter exchanges. The CHS social worker will receive the information and ensure it is purged of any information that could risk confidentiality before the social worker then forwards it to the recipient. Please note, the code of Virginia allows non-identifying letters to be exchanged between adoptive parents and birth parents only. The exchange is not between the birth family and the adoptee. The fee for this service is $150. To get started, please complete the form located under LINKS & DOWNLOADS and mail it to CHS along with your fee.
Search & Reunion
There are two types of Search and Reunion services offered by CHS. Please review which is the best fit for you. It is important to note the law is different for adoptions that occurred prior to 1994 and those that occurred in or after 1994. If your adoption occurred before 1994, the Code of Virginia states that the adoptee is the only party allowed to initiate a search.
In adoptions occurring prior to 1994: The adoptee, adoptive parents, birth parents, and adult birth siblings may request a search and reunion. An adoptee can request a search when they turn 18 years old.
In adoptions occurring after 1994: Birth family members must wait until the adoptee turns 21 to initiate a search.
You can review your rights by following this link:
OPTION #1: A full search and reunion when there hasn’t been any contact between the families since the adoption finalization.
A CHS social worker will make every effort possible to locate the requested party. If that party is found and is open to contact, CHS will facilitate the exchange of non-identifying letters and provide supportive counseling to all parties. Following this exchange, the parties can request direct contact, and CHS will facilitate this reunion. The fee for this service is a one-time fee of $500. To get started, please complete the form located under LINKS & DOWNLOADS and mail it to CHS along with your fee.
OPTION #2: A reunion when non-identifying contact between the birth and adoptive family has been occurring over the years.
An example of this is when the birth and adoptive family have been exchanging non-identifying letters over the years and now the adoptee has turned 18 and is requesting direct contact with the birth family. CHS will facilitate this reunion. The fee for this service is $350. To get started, please complete the form located under LINKS & DOWNLOADS and mail it to CHS along with your fee.
**CHS cannot guarantee the outcome of the service, and all fees are non-refundable.**
If you have questions, please feel free to contact us to speak to a social worker and learn more about search and reunion protocols and processes.