Adopted from HK - Finding Birth Parents

POSTED BY Boo (8 yrs ago)
Hi, would anyone know where and how I would go about tracing my birth parents? I'm close to 30 in age and I know I'll be up against a lot of bureaucracy if I were to approach social services head-on as unlike the West, it's not accepted culturally for adopted people to trace their natural parents (I was adopted into an overseas-Chinese family and my dad never wanted to tell me but I found out by accident).

I'd really appreciate some tips and would like to hear from anyone who has been through a similar experience or is contemplating venturing down this path (tracing their birth parents).

#1 POSTED BY hkggirl (8 yrs ago)
Have you approached the Social Welfare Department? I am sure that attitudes would have changed in the past 30 years. As someone who has adopted a child through the Welfare Department in the last few years I know that during workshops, adoptive parents were advised to be open and honest with their adoptive children and the creation of "Lifebooks" were encouraged. I would contact the department and be polite but persistent. Good Luck
#2 POSTED BY ssbabes (8 yrs ago)
I think your first port of call should be Social Welfare. They will be able to give you the information you need and what to do next. Good luck.
#3 POSTED BY Boo (8 yrs ago)
Thanks everyone for the support. I'll try Social Welfare and try to be positive.
#4 POSTED BY Meiguoren (8 yrs ago)
Just to note there's a big difference -- an ocean of difference -- between an adoptive parent telling a child he is adopted versus opening a sealed court record which would reveal the identity of the birth parent. Don't confuse these two very different issues. Morevoer, western laws are not as open as you might think. It's not a matter of "attitude," it's a matter of legal right to privacy and due process for both biological and adoptive parents. The issue of privacy is bypassed in an "open" adoption where everyone always knows identities, but it definitely is an issue in a "closed" adoption when some parties might not want their identities not to be revealed. Generally speaking, a biological parent in the USA can sign a form giving permission for the record to be opened upon inquiry, dispensing with the need for an adult child seeking his roots to have a judicial hearing to determine legality of opening the sealed judicial record; and sealed records are sometimes opened after due process of judicial hearings has proved significant need that would outweigh the biological parent's right to privacy, for instance need to discover some medical history etc.. But sealed court records are not just "thrown open" based on any request. This law is not something that can be changed by talking with social services. Based on my experience with Chinese culture (not with the legal system here), I would not expect the system to be welcoming of inquiries of this sort. Wish the best for you, Boo. Hopefully the system has paved a way for those seeking to be found to be matched with those who seek them. Just be prepared for disappointment if it has not.
#5 POSTED BY Boo (8 yrs ago)
I agree with you, meiguoren, which is why I'm not expecting anything to begin with. I know it's going to be an uphill battle but thanks for your input.
#6 POSTED BY Lilly Pilly (8 yrs ago)
I know for a fact that the social welfare department will help you with your enquiries. I recently attended workshops on 'root tracing" and they are very keen to assist find adoptive parents. They provide counseling and set up the first meeting. I would contact them immediately, they will be more forthcoming than you expect.
#7 POSTED BY clara34 (8 yrs ago)
so what did your adopted parents says?did they know?what are you going to do?will you tell them?i wish you find your family soon!!!
#8 POSTED BY Boo (8 yrs ago)
That's good to know LillyPilly! Good to know that there's a possibility of light at the end of the tunnel afterall! Will report back when I find out. Thanks!
#9 POSTED BY Meiguoren (8 yrs ago)
Good luck! :-)
#10 POSTED BY Vivian Liu (3 yrs ago)
My parents told me that I suppose have a sister who was borned in Wong Tai Sin, Hong Kong in 1963 - 1966 (I don't remenber, but I will try to ask my mom). She really want

to find her. She was adopted into an overseas from Chinese family but no document,

She never sign any document at that moment. Please let me know your birth date.
#11 POSTED BY Boo (3 yrs ago)
Hi Vivian - my birthday is 16 May 1978 so probably not me. That's exciting you are trying to find her. Have you tried social services? They are very helpful in my experience. Good luck for your search!

#12 POSTED BY Boo (3 yrs ago)
Btw Vivian- just to clarify, i did end up using Social Services about 1.5yrs ago and they were very open and almost over- encouraging of me trying to trace my birth parents. I am not particularly keen anymore in making a physical connection and was just happy I got some facts such as the circumstances leading to my adoption and physical attributes/ social background of my birth parents etc.
#13 POSTED BY emonkey (3 yrs ago)
Hi Boo, Hi Vivian and others, I wanted to touch base with you to make sure you are aware of another resource in Hong Kong for adult adoptees: Adoptive Families of Hong Kong. (I'm the treasurer.) We've been around as a non-profit HK society for nearly 20 years, and we recently were also approved as a charity. We have a free monthly support group, and last month the topic was "Roots Tracing." Two adult adoptees attended talking about some of their attempts to find their birth parents. We also helped sponsor the first Chinese Adoptee Worldwide Reunion meeting in Hong Kong two years ago. We now have one adult adoptee on our Steering Committee and are trying to reach out to more adoptees to encourage them to join and participate. Our website is Hope you'll consider joining. You can also send us an email to if you want more info. Cheers!
#14 POSTED BY Boo (3 yrs ago)
Thanks emonkey. I have heard good things about AFHK and would like to join. I've PM'ed you at the email provided. Thanks!

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