Searching for your Birth Parents if you adopted from Russia

Are you adopted from Russia? Like many of us from the early 1990s up until now we were one of those children adopted into a Family outside of Russia. In the 1990s in America alone there was over 19,000 adoptions from Russia in the 1990s. For New Zealand there were over 600. Worldwide from China and Russia there had been over 410,000 adoptions from 27 countries from 2000-2010!

Most of the stories that are shared with us are from adoptees who came from Russia. It is difficult for some as everything is different. The language, the culture and the size of the Country. Many adoptees have revisited their Birth Country in Russia to experience the culture and the people and a lot of them have gone back to meet their Birth Parents.

Searching for Birth Relatives in a country like Russia takes time and patience but it’s not impossible. Adoptees should take some time to learn about Russia and the Culture before searching. That is just my bit of advice. Before I did my search for my Birth Parents in 2013 I knew alot about Russia already. I knew that it was going to be a totally different Country than where I am in New Zealand. Unfortunately now some countries are unable to adopt from Russia. New Zealand is one of them and so is the USA.

There are many ways for any adoptees to search for their Birth Parents in Russia. Remember to think about searching for them first. Do it when you feel it’s right and take your time. Decide on who you would like to get help from before searching too. It all comes down to yourself if you want to search for any of your birth parents.

Here are some tips that can help you on your search. (In no particular order)

  • Find yourself a friend who speaks Russian who can go over what information you have with you. This way you can sit down and look at what you can find online on your birth parents. You may even have the chance to learn the language with them.
  • Have a look at Russian Social Network websites like vk.com or ok.ru. These websites are used more by people in Russia than Facebook. You can do a search through Community Groups or People Search for people under the same last name.  Note: Never rush. Take your time.
  • If you share your story in English on our Facebook Page and Website here then we can get it translated into Russian and shared to our Russian version of I’m Adopted. This is always up to you if you would like to get the word out there. People in the community have been able to help others with the I’m Adopted project after their story had been shared. Take a look at the Russian version here. Always up to you if you want to share your story.
  • Use Google Translate for simple word translations. You can bring up a keyboard on translate.google.com. This way you can get some information if you look closely on what papers or documents you may have. Try to match up any names correctly instead of relying on Google Translate. Some names don’t translate all that well.
  • Don’t spam people if you may think you have found someone. Slow down and don’t go crazy. The best way about it is once you have an idea that you may have found someone, then you can give it a try. In several Social Network Websites there is also advanced searches for example in VK.com. When you do a search for someone you can narrow it down to a Birth Date or area from where they are from. Try searching for only the Russian last name and from that area. See what you find!
  • You can always hire someone to search for you. I am not sure exactly on the services or people. That comes down to you. Going to your adoption agency is also an option. These people may be able to help you with your search for your Birth Parents. They may be able to guide you to the right people to help you search.
  • Just on a side note – Learn a bit about Russia and the culture. It is an incredible country with a lot of history.Take your time! Good Luck!  – Alex Gilbert (Founder of I’m Adopted & Russian – New Zealand Adoptee)

    facebook.com/nzalexgilbert
    instagram.com/alexgilbert