Searching for a birth father? Read these tips on how to find a biological father without his name from an expert who helps adoptees and others find their birth parents.
Thank you to Troy Olson, the Co-Founder of DiscoverFamily.net, for writing this guest blog post.
Our team of search angels has helped thousands of people to find their birth parent(s). Over half of the requests we receive are people searching for their biological father. In this post, we want to help those who specifically want to know how to find their biological father without knowing his name. Here are the ways we approach searches when the names are not known. Please read and consider all of them for your search.
How to find a biological father without his name
Our mantra for birth father searches
Our team has a mantra we use for birth father searches, “Paternity is always in question.” This means that we usually do not take any details or evidence provided as 100 percent accurate when it comes to determining and locating a birth father. In some cases, a birth mother may have been totally sober and aware at the time of conception and had no other sexual relations. But in many or most cases we work on there was frequently drugs and/or alcohol involved, as well as more than one possible sexual partner who could be the birth father. The simple logistics of the situation mean that the birth father only had to be present for a few moments. We have worked on cases where the birth mother refuses to divulge or simply doesn’t know. We don’t mean to offend, but we typically approach birth father searches needing concrete evidence. The most tangible evidence available is a DNA test or a paternity test.
Consumer DNA testing, in many cases, is the only way that a biological father can be accurately determined. It’s a two-step process:
Take as many DNA tests as you can. Your results will be matched to others in company databases who share common DNA with you. Start with AncestryDNA,* which has the largest database of testers and best tools for figuring out how you’re related to others who have tested there. (AncestryDNA not sold where you live? Explore other options.)
Learn how to explore your list of DNA relatives for clues about your birth father’s identity. If you test with AncestryDNA, take our AncestryDNA Tour to learn how to navigate your results and find answers in your DNA match list.
Not ready to meet your birth relatives?
You can learn a lot about your birth roots from your DNA even if you aren’t quite ready to have contact with your biological relatives. Learn more in a free downloadable guide from Your DNA Guide, which also has a table to help you understand the likelihood of being able to identify a birth parent with your current test results.
Request your original birth certificate
Depending on what US state you were born in, you may be able to request your original birth certificate. See a breakdown of the laws of each state. This typically only works for those who were adopted. In our experience, it rarely has both the birth mother’s name and the birth father’s name. It’s one possibility, so we list it here. Born in the U.K.? Read Finding Birth Parents in the U.K.
Use a search engine to locate and research
If you have your birth father’s name or some pieces of information about him, you can use the internet to possibly locate him or additional information. Try these tips for searching for living relatives online.
Use a background check system
In this information age, it’s possible and even advisable to get a background check on any birth relatives. You want to ensure your own safety and that of your family before ever reaching out to anyone. Many services provide background checks. Our team at DiscoveryFamily.net has tested many different systems and the largest and best we have found is TruthFinder.com.
Get expert help finding your birth father
Searching for a birth father can be a difficult and lonely process. Expert help is available! Read 4 steps to discovering your birth roots, and explore more do-it-yourself resources from Your DNA Guide that can help you in your search.
Not so much a do-it-yourselfer? If you want free help finding birth parents from volunteer search angels, reach out to my team at DiscoverFamily.net