One of the most emotionally difficult ways to find out if a child is adopted is to ask the guardians or parents. Individuals of legal age may obtain their birth or adoption records from their states' human services departments. A DNA test is a common way to find out if one is adopted.

When a person wishing to know if he is adopted seeks his birth or adoption records, the government archives may need the birth parents' permission to release the original birth certificates. If a birth parent hasn't signed an affidavit of disclosure, the adoptee may need to wait for at least six months for notification of the biological parent.

DNA tests can provide some evidence regarding adoption. The procedure costs money but it is a reliable means to find out if one is related to parents, siblings or other members of the family. A DNA test requires two samples of cells, one from the adoptee and one from an immediate family member. The test results may take as long as five weeks to be released. The person who orders the tests pays for all testing. In addition, specific gene traits, such as hair color, eye color, blood type and medical conditions can also serve as clues as to whether a person is adopted.