TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Trust is an essential part of the communication between an adoptee or birth relative and the volunteer searcher. If the volunteer agrees to assist the adoptee or birth relative, then there is a trust that must be established between the two parties. This trust can be difficult to establish or maintain over time if information is purposely withheld by the adoptee or birth relative. We, at Search Angels, will spend literally hundreds of our hours on your search so having a clear understanding of expectations of truth, shared knowledge, and information that may have been collected before or during our participation in your search is essential to maintaining this trust. It is important then for the adoptee or birth relative to maintain open communication with the volunteer Search Angel.
Examples of information that should be shared:
- If the adoptee or birth relative is working with others alongside their search with a Search Angel volunteer, the adoptee or birth relative should share any new findings, whether that be documentation, opinions, doubts, concerns, or other pertinent dialogue that occurs outside of the volunteers' knowledge.
- Often times, if the adoptee or birth relative is working with a television program or similar organization, the producers of the program or directors of the organization may ask the adoptee or birth relative to share all known search information. Please be advised that it is very unfair to the Search Angel volunteer to have his or her efforts, genealogical findings, or extensive search results used by an organization that focuses on monetary gain. At the very least, the Search Angel volunteer should be recognized by the television program or similar organization.
- If the Search Angel volunteer is relatively confident that a match has been made, remember it is not the responsibility of the Search Angel volunteer to contact the match. Nor is it appropriate to blame the Search Angel volunteer for any negative reaction that the adoptee or birth relative may receive from the match. Remember, we strongly encourage patience and open communication between all parties involved in the search process.
The process involved in a search can vary, but in most cases either an extensive amount of information is already available and our volunteers will help with a more traditional level of search or a DNA test may be strongly encouraged to be taken by the adoptee or birth relative with a genealogy DNA testing company like AncestryDNA. In either case, the documentation, rumors, or hints an adoptee or birth relative will share with the volunteer Search Angel or the results from a DNA test will be used to establish the best substantiated information to locate a positive match. In the case of DNA results, a guest access needs to be shared with the volunteer Search Angel and editor rights need to be given to the Search Angel volunteer so that he or she may build your genetically related cousins upon a Ancestry.com tree.
Not every Search Angel volunteer is exactly alike. We each have methodologies, search patterns, and strategies we engage in to help you along your way. Some of us like to drive the search ourselves, while others may encourage the adoptee or birth relative to participate frequently to assist with the collection of information and search. Sometimes our searchers will have an equal amount of both active participation and encouragement of the birth relative or adoptee's active involvement.
- Abruptly moving your DNA results, starting a new genealogical tree, and communicating nothing about your intensions can cause our volunteers to feel their participation is no longer needed, wanted, or trusted. Please make every attempt to speak to a Search Angel volunteer before making any dramatic changes to information they have collected or built on your behalf.
Again, our volunteers will not act as intermediaries who will reach out to birth relatives in the immediate family. There are unforeseen consequences that may make a second chance at communication impossible. It is for this reason, we want the adoptee to make the call and be prepared to ask questions or make their own attempt to start the dialogue. We do not guarantee that every "best guess" of a relative will be a hundred percent accurate. There are many times when information collected by the social worker and later surrendered to an adoptee as "non-identifying" information is filled with misinformation or lies. Other times it was a carefully written set of bread crumbs that was intentionally meant to lead back to the birth relative. We cannot be sure, one way or the other.
It is for these reasons we reserve the right to not take on your case or drop out of participation entirely if we feel you cannot keep an open and trustworthy communication with our Search Angel volunteers.
Searchangels.org is committed to protecting your privacy and developing technology that gives you the most powerful and safe online experience. This Statement of Privacy and Terms and Conditions applies to the Searchangels.org Web site and governs data collection and usage. By using the Searchangels.org Web site, you consent to the data practices described in this statement.
I authorize the Search Angel’s at SearchAngels.org to release my name and information to the person(s) for whom this search is conducted and/or their appointed representatives. I also authorize to release my name and information to other reputable organizations for the purpose of increasing my chances for a match. I understand that unforeseen events could result in termination of “SearchAngels.org” or the sharing of my personal identifiable information.
Any private information, like shared passwords to DNA third party accounts, or other family tree 3rd party companies (like Ancestry.com) is the sole responsibility of the individual giving permission on this contract to change/update upon completion or termination of their search assistance.
Note that there are no guarantees that “SearchAngels.org” will be able to complete your search or solely be responsible for your entire search. By use of the word “search” it is intended to mean the search for your biological parent(s), or relatives.
You also agree that you are not breaking any laws of the state in which you are searching for these relatives; including searching for anyone under the age of eighteen years.
There are limits as to how much we can assist birth-mothers on their search; as most of the tools at are disposal are limited to public records, DNA testing at 3rd party companies, or genealogy.
We do not claim to be a private investigation company, nor will we take on searches for individuals outside of the scope of adoptees and/or birth relatives seeking out one another because closed adoptions (original birth certificates) have denied them this ability to find one another.
By making donations we are not agreeing to complete your search or guaranteeing any success. All donations are non-refundable.
COLLECTION OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Searchangels.org collects personally identifiable information, such as your e-mail address, name, home or work address or telephone number. Searchangels.org also collects anonymous demographic information, which is not unique to you, such as your ZIP code, age, gender, preferences, interests and favorites.
There is also information about your computer hardware and software that is automatically collected by Searchangels.org. This information can include: your IP address, browser type, domain names, access times and referring Web site addresses. This information is used by Searchangels.org for the operation of the service, to maintain quality of the service, and to provide general statistics regarding use of the Searchangels.org Web site.
Please keep in mind that if you directly disclose personally identifiable information or personally sensitive data through Searchangels.org public blog or through submission of our "Search angels - information collection form", this information may be collected and used by other individuals working alongside "Search Angels" to assist in the process and or research for your adoptee and/or a birth relative search.
Searchangels.org encourages you to review the privacy statements of Web sites you choose to link to from Searchangels.org so that you can understand how those Web sites collect, use and share your information. Searchangels.org is not responsible for the privacy statements or other content on Web sites outside of the Searchangels.org.
USE OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Searchangels.org collects and uses your personal information to operate the Searchangels.org Web site and deliver the services you have requested. Searchangels.org also uses your personally identifiable information to inform you of other products or services available from Searchangels.org and its affiliates. Searchangels.org may also contact you via surveys to conduct research about your opinion of current services or of potential new services that may be offered.
Searchangels.org does not sell, rent or lease its customer lists to third parties. Searchangels.org may, from time to time, contact you on behalf of external business partners about a particular offering that may be of interest to you. In those cases, your unique personally identifiable information (e-mail, name, address, telephone number) is not transferred to the third party. In addition, Searchangels.org may share data with trusted partners to help us perform statistical analysis, send you email or postal mail, provide customer support, or arrange for deliveries. All such third parties are prohibited from using your personal information except to provide these services to Searchangels.org, and they are required to maintain the confidentiality of your information.
Searchangels.org does not use or disclose sensitive personal information, such as race, religion, or political affiliations, without your explicit consent.
Searchangels.org keeps track of the Web sites and pages our customers visit within Searchangels.org, in order to determine what Searchangels.org services are the most popular. This data is used to deliver customized content and advertising within Searchangels.org to customers whose behavior indicates that they are interested in a particular subject area.
Searchangels.org Web sites will disclose your personal information, without notice, only if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to the edicts of the law or comply with legal process served on Searchangels.org or the site; (b) protect and defend the rights or property of Searchangels.org, (c) act under exigent circumstances to protect the personal safety of users of Searchangels.org, or the public and, (d) work with third parties to assist you in your search for your birth/biological relatives.
SECURITY OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Searchangels.org secures your personal information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. Searchangels.org secures the personally identifiable information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use or disclosure; especially when it comes to our "Search angels - information collection form". When personal information (such as a credit card number) is transmitted to other Web sites, it is protected through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.
CHANGES TO THIS STATEMENT
Searchangels.org will occasionally update this Statement of Privacy to reflect company and customer feedback. Searchangels.org encourages you to periodically review this Statement to be informed of how Searchangels.org is protecting your information.
Searchangels.org welcomes your comments regarding this Statement of Privacy, Terms and Conditions. If you believe that Searchangels.org has not adhered to this Statement, please contact Searchangels.org. We will use reasonable efforts to promptly determine and remedy problem encountered along your journey with us.