"Dear Brianne...I was adopted from the US to Europe. Can you help me?"

A few of the sections from my book The DNA Guide for Adoptees with co-author Shannon Combs-Bennett addresses questions related to international/intercountry adoptions.

Most of the book is US-centric (where Shannon and I live and have most of our experience). Some of the issues we address in the book are not country-specific, though, like issues we address related to the emotional aspects and moving forward with communication.

As DNA testing options expand, the use of DNA testing for the purpose of family searches will grow as well.

I recently received an email from someone living in Europe who was adopted out of the US state of New York. Here is how I addressed his question.


Dear Brianne,

I have an adoption-related question. I was adopted from New York to Europe. Are you experienced/proficient in the area of international adoptees, specifically those adopted from NY, where records are sealed?

-European NY Adoptee


Hi European NY Adoptee,

Thanks for reaching out. Are you hoping to locate biological family via records search, DNA testing, or possibly both? There are places I would send you first if you want to start with a records search.

New York is in the process of changing laws around adoptees and their access to information, so you might have more access to information from New York than you did in the past. Adopteerightslaw.com maintains up-to-date data about access by state.

If you have already gone that route and are looking to use DNA testing next, that is where my expertise comes in. I have a book that covers the basics of records search and DNA that came out this summer that is called The DNA Guide for Adoptees.

It’s available online through Amazon, BAM, Barnes and Noble, and a few other booksellers.

You might start there.

Wishing you the best in your search,

-Brianne