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Updated on March 14, 2011


Recent efforts to register with adoption reunion registries led to an "interesting" discovery. It concerns the International Soundex Reunion Registry.

To adoption-separated people, looking for each other, those at the ISRR promote themselves as the best reunion registry to have your name listed on as an almost guarantee of locating each other. Study of the facts however shows that in fact this may not be the truth.

Here's why. The HARD COPY MAIL-IN-ONLY registration REQUIREMENT to list your name on the passive reunion registry of the International Soundex Reunion Reigstry in actuality IS A MANDATE. This ORDER MEANS that an adoption-separated person has NO CHOICE by which to register his/her name and other private information with the ISRR.

They enforce this mandate at the ISRR by not providing [an] email address[es] or [a] fax number[s]. Therefore this absence of alternative methods to contact the ISRR constitutes enforcement.

It's like separation enforcement. By this I mean that this scheme is consistent with the complaints (of mostly first mothers) about adoption practitioners like lawyers and social workers etc. enforcing the separation of children from their mothers and vice versa by sinister methods. This could be one of those under-handed ways.

Their absence at the ISRR of flexibility regarding their mail-in-only requirement for registering, with them, makes them at the ISRR suspect. It's almost like those at the ISRR keep this mandate in place more to conceal wrong-doing and less for registration purposes.

Such wrong-doing could entail a couple things. One possibility is that while being routed through the surface mail system, which usually is the United States Postal Service (USPS), ISRR-intended mail is removed. Said mail then does not reach its destination of the ISRR.

It seems plausible this situation actually may exist simply because of the absence of alternative methods to contact the ISRR. Also this vacuum reinforces the suspicion that those at the ISRR do not in fact receive the USPS-routed mail registration forms because they know they don't and since they know this hence they thus are compelled not to provide alternative methods for contacting them.

Second is the possibility that those at the ISRR do receive USPS-routed mail registration forms but then they hand over this mail to [a][n] anti-reunion person[s]. In turn this could be anybody--from [an] adoptive parent[s] to [a] lawyer[s] or [a] social worker[s] etc.--who is against adoptees being reunited with their first parents and absolutely does not want natural mothers and same fathers finding their adoption-lost son or daughter.

The ISRR's excessive secrecy raises too many suspicions to be ignored. They're too secretive, even by concealed/closed adoption standards.

Sincerely, I proclaim to others Don't be discouraged.  On the other hand Do BEware, and Aware!  Investigate first, if necessary, especially since there are many parties who falsely claim they can find your adoption-lost loved one easy



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      Lorraine Neher 16 months ago

      Whoever wrote this article is beyond crazy! ISRR has been in business since 1975. I personally knew Emma Mae Velardi, the woman who started this registry. It's free and run totally by volunteers. The only compensation they receive is the joy of reuniting someone.

    • profile image

      Alisa Munn 22 months ago

      After many years of searching for my biological parents, I had registered on numerous reunion sites. This was the first site that I actually had to print and mail in my forms. I didn't hear anything for 7+ months until a phone call in Oct 2015 . The lady on the other end told me she was from ISRR and had just gotten off the phone with my biological mother and had verified we had a match!

      After a few weeks went by we both received a call from the initial lady at ISRR asking us both how the details of our reunion. She seemed very thrilled that she had been able to connect two missing links together and grateful for another reunion.

      I honestly have nothing but great things to say about ISRR and hate to read such a discouraging article when my experience was exceptional and was much more than any other reunion site had been able to do. Maybe the other sites are the ones not accessing and using their collected information correctly because ISRR sure knew how to help me!!

    • profile image

      martin brandfon 2 years ago

      whoever this guy is, is completely wrong.

      you may use ISRR with complete confidence.

      (I am an adoptee, attorney, and former search consultant)

    • profile image

      Judith gavin 3 years ago

      I found my birth mother and had NO problems with them

    • profile image

      mrae1 4 years ago

      I printed out the forms to register, but have a question. Why does ISRR want your social security number?. This raises a red flag to me. My social security number would not be of any use in the adoption search, and what do they offer in security measure? If I can submit the form without my SS number, I would be willing to register. If they need some verification ID for future contact - some code could be created.

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      MarySue Wedl 4 years ago

      Whoever wrote "Beware the ISRR" is either on crack or has a real mental problem. The people who started, ran & continue to run this Registry are above reproach. Adoption professional, (Those facilitating adoptions) should be as credible. Too bad you don't have the guts to sign your name.

    • Lori Carangelo profile image

      Lori Carangelo 4 years ago

      Beware the anonymous author of "Beware the International Soundex Reunion Registry." Those who must hide their identity while alleging to favor open records and reunions most likely works for pro-sealed records lobby of adoption agencies, National Council For Adoption (NCFA) or is an adopter who feels threatened by truth in adoption or others of their ilk. My name is Lori Carangelo, founder of Americans For Opem Records ( since 1989 and I personally know of many happy reuions resulting from my having referred thousands of adoptees and parents to ISRR as the first step in their searches for answers to "Who amd I?" and "Is my child alive and well?" Shame on aka "daisyma."

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      Jennifer 4 years ago

      Give me a freaking break. You're going to have to dig deeper than that to find some big conspiracy going on with ISRR.

    • profile image

      Janine 4 years ago

      The author of this article clearly suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

    • profile image

      Educ8rkids 4 years ago

      I was reunited using ISRR 20+ years ago. Your article is ridiculous. ISRR wants your application in writing to avoid others filing info on someone else's behalf. By this method they have something concrete in the event of legals issues. It forces you think while filling out the application AND gives you time before mailing it, removing the impulsive instant "send" that an email allows, giving those who are unsure time to become sure or to tear it up and throw it away. You are a fool and this article is drivel. Shame on you for your inflammatory and foundless arguments of some great conspiracy to intercept you application.

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      Joan 5 years ago

      Hi, just so you know. IF someone also sends a Self addressed stamped envelope, they will mail it to you so you know they received your Form you filled out. Such false claims made here is the dumbist thing I ever heard.

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      marleygreiner 6 years ago

      Good grief! I'm an adoptee rights activist, and it's been a long time since I've seen such an ill-informed post from somebody supposedly on "our" side. Are you clamiing that the USPS or lawyers (who seem to be your bete noir), are stealing letters addressed to ISRR? You're a danger to the movement.

    • profile image

      Astounded... 6 years ago

      Are you kidding me?! Where exactly did you do your research on this subject? This is what you choose to warn people about? How about the criminals who take our hard earned money, sometimes thousands of dollars, and make false promises on search and reunion? Most paid searchers only dole out sorrow and devastation for those thousands. You must be a paid searcher. Trying to discredit the ISRR turns my stomach.

      The ISRR is extremely legit! They have been around since 1975 and facilitated many reunions.

      As there are so many adoptees,they get hundreds of registrations every day. It makes complete sense to me that registration is done only by regular mail. State-run adoption registries require not only a hard copy application but the signatures must be notarized. Also, state-run registries are not accessible by the public. Can you imagine the issues which could arise with fax and internet registrations? Shoddy fax transmissions, cut off documents, and costly internet security solutions come to mind. The cost involved in follow up alone, not to mention costs for security solutions, could put them out of business. They are a non-profit organization which would not have the staff or the funds to follow up on hundreds of cases every day. They do provide a toll-free number at which I have been able to reach a human being in the past. So I really don't see your problem with them. Excessive secrecy, 'even by concealed/closed adoption standards'? That statement made me laugh! I appreciate that the ISRR doesn't publish all of my personal information. If my mother or father register with them, I trust that they will make the match with enough information. They've been around for a long time and are highly recommended by wonderful, experienced, and successful (free) search angels as well as many states, courts, etc. These people would not be recommending them if it was a 'scheme', as you term it.

      The only good and true thing you stated above is, 'Don't be discouraged. On the other hand Do BEware, and Aware! Investigate first, if necessary, especially since there are many parties who falsely claim they can find your adoption-lost loved one easy.'(sic)

      Yes, we should all beware and be aware. There are many crooks out there who pray on those of us searching. However, your efforts would be much more effective if you would choose the right targets for your suspicions in this industry (there are plenty of them) and leave the legitimate institutions alone!

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      Kevin Theriot 6 years ago

      It might be that they need a hard copy signed statement by both parties to avoid lawsuits.