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The Florida Adoption Reunion Registry (FARR) is a confidential registry used to reunite birth family members affected by adoption in the state of Florida. It was created by the Florida Legislature in 1982 and has more than 6,200 people listed to date. Around six to eight reunions are facilitated by the service each month.

Who Can Use the Service?

Anyone affected by adoption, including adopted adults, birth parents, birth siblings, birth aunts and uncles and birth grandparents can sign up to find their relatives on the registry. Even adoptive parents can sign their adopted child up for the service.

The way it works is pretty simple. You sign up and list yourself on the registry, and if or when a birth relative also lists themselves on the registry, both parties will be contacted with an invitation to reunite. An invitation is sent out only if two related parties have registered. The registry never actively searches for birth relatives — it only uses the information of people who list themselves voluntarily.

Why Seek Adoption Reunion?

Usually, an adoption reunion takes place between biological family members who were affected by a closed adoption. That means that the adoption reunion is probably the first time they have met since the adoption.

For many people, an adoption reunion is an exciting prospect. Placing a child for adoption can be selfless, but it can also be painful. Many people affected by adoption seek reunion as a means of healing and to fill a sense of loss from the past.

How Can You Best Reunite?

It is important to remember that not everyone is looking for a reunion. Many people have no interest in reconnecting with their biological family members, and others are just not ready for that step. It’s important to proceed with care and be respectful of all parties.

If you do initiate an adoption reunion through the Florida Adoption Reunion Registry or on your own, take it slow. Don’t charge in and start asking too many questions, being aggressive or taking liberties with their time or personal space. Be respectful and friendly and wait until the other person is comfortable before moving further. Also, an adoption-competent counselor can also be very helpful.

To learn more about FARR and what to expect during an adoption reunion, check out the official website.