top of page

Search Basics

Search Basics Chart final draft.jpg

Downloadable version of Search Basics Chart

While you wait, don't neglect the inner journey. Make contact with Jigsaw Queensland for support, knowledge and guidance.

Stages of the Search - 'The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.'


L.P. Hartley, The Go Betweens

Putting the Pieces Together


To begin to search may be a difficult decision to make, but it is certainly natural for adoptees to be curious and to seek answers to questions they may have thought about since finding out they were adopted, including:


  • Why was I relinquished?

  • Who are my parents?

  • Will I look like them?

  • Do I have any siblings?

  • What's my family background and country of origin?

  • What's my family medical history?


Parents may also have many unanswered questions, including:


  • Is my child alive?

  • What kind of life have they had?

  • Will they look like me?

  • What are they doing now?

  • Will my child reject me?


Until 1991, adoption laws with their blanket of secrecy effectively prevented adoptees and parents from having these questions answered. Sadly, some may find that even now, many of their questions will remain unanswered. 


The search is both external and internal. The stages of the external or outer journey (often referred to as the paper trail) may not exactly match the stages of the internal or inner journey.


The internal journey usually continues long after the external journey is complete. The external journey is marked by a paper trail as you look for someone else, while the internal journey is about finding yourself. It is a process of learning more about yourself, your feelings, your identity, coming to terms with this, and finishing 'unfinished business'.


Those affected by adoption can contact our Forced Adoption Support Service on 1800 21 03 13. 


Search Stages

bottom of page