NEW Program: Search and Reunion Counseling and Support

Today birth families and adoptees are connecting through DNA databases, social media and access to original birth certificates.

Many people find search and reunion to be “one of the most emotional experiences in their lives”. They report that “support was key” in helping them to deal with their feelings and questions and to navigate these complex relationships.

No matter where you are in the search and reunion process we understand the complexity of the emotions involved for all adoption constellation members.

Adoptive Parents may want help:

  • Determining when and how to open an adoption for their child.
  • Dealing with emotions related to their adult child’s search and reunion with birth family.
  • Understanding their child’s attraction to genetic family and desire to connect.
  • Coping with extended family reactions.
  • Learning about resources to gain additional insight and support.

Birth Parents may want help with:

  • How to communicate effectively with their child.
  • Concerns about privacy, or handling how being found by their child impacts their current life.
  • Managing feelings of loss, guilt, fear, and confusion.
  • Uncertainty about the type of relationship they want or can have with their child.

Adoptees may want help:

  • Coping with feelings about adoption, identity and relationships with adoptive and birth parents.
  • Deciding whether, when or how to search for their birth family, or if getting more information is enough.
  • Handling the initial contact and potential conflicts.
  • Dealing with unexpected or overwhelming emotions after meeting birth family.
  • Coping with the many difficult feelings, intricate relationship expectations and issues involved.

There is no reason to go it alone.

IAC CENTER Counselors are able to offer you support, counseling and guidance.

Contact: or 609-737-8750 for more information or to schedule an initial consultation.


What are the benefits of IAC CENTER search and reunion support?

We understand that each individual and family situation is unique and are committed to taking the time to understand you and your personal situation. We offer you the benefit of unbiased counseling and professional guidance.

We can help you:

  • Think about if, when, and how to open or increase relationships.
  • Prepare for meeting, including understanding your expectations and reactions to potential outcomes.
  • Process complex feelings triggered by these meetings.
  • Develop understanding and communication skills to navigate these complex relationships.
  • Manage feelings of loss, guilt or other emotions you may experience as a birth parent.
  • Coping with anxiety, confusion and other emotions adoptees often face.
  • Successfully negotiate your path with parents, partners, spouses, children, siblings and members of extended biological or adoptive family.

IAC Center Counselors have extensive experience specific to search and reunion. We provide a warm, empathetic and safe environment.

NJ Birthright Act

The NJ Birthright Act, signed into law on May 27, 2014, allows individuals born in or adopted in NJ, to obtain an unregistered copy of their original birth certificate (OBC). Family members including adoptive parents, siblings and children of adoptees may also obtain a copy of OBC’s.

Birth parents have been encouraged to file contact preference information and may redact their names from OBC’s up until December 31, 2016. If redacting, they are encouraged to provide historical, cultural and medical information.Adoptees born in NJ, or whose adoption was finalized in NJ and are aged 18 and older, may apply now for their OBC by going to: The NJ Department of Health will begin to mail OBC documents on January 3, 2017.

Based in Pennington, NJ