Lost Daughter...How to find her?

My brother had a daughter about 18 years ago. The mother refused to put him on the birth certificate. She moved with no forwarding address about 16 years ago. Since then, my brother has been waiting for the knock on his door.

It came. Sort of. It turns out that she contacted OUR father and was told that my brother was nowhere to be found. The truth was/is, our father is a complete shitbag and knows exactly how to find my brother, knows exactly where he lives and his phone number etc.

She never ended up being able to locate my brother. Now I’ve been given the task of finding her. The thing is, I have no idea what her name would be now. For all I know, she got adopted or name changed somewhere along the line. She never had our name.

I’m kind of shaky on the spelling of her name (young mother, creative spelling bullcrap), I know approximately when she was born, but have no idea where she has been since she was 2.

In other notes, she was visiting us the day I found my dog Jezebel, she of several threads who was put down a few months ago.

In other notes, this all came about because my paternal grandmother is dying. Hospice is there and the entire family who I have successfully avoided for 22 years, is continuing the crazy. My brother went up to say good bye to her. He told me she has pictures of me around her house and frankly, I have no idea what I’m supposed to feel about any of it, except fear that they might find out anything about me.

So dopers. any ideas? Any good sites to check? How do you find someone who wants to be found but damned if you can spell their name?

Do you know her mom’s name? Maybe you could find your neice through her if she hasn’t gotten married.

I’ve seen Walloon help out in these threads before.

I guess dad didn’t get any contact info from her.


Was the attempted contact by phone? You might be able to get the phone company to pull the LUDs (Local Usage Details) for your father’s phone for that time period and see if the caller ID was intact for the call. You’ll probably have to get whoever the phone is billed to to do that.

Perhaps register with an agency such as Jigsaw? The Salvation Army are often quite good at re-connecting missing relatives.

If you know the approximate date of birth and the city of birth, you should be able to check the public record for her birth name. That would be a start. If you have that information, maybe you can track the mother or her family, or Google the the child’s name directly.


Is hiring a private detective an option? It’s where I’d start, if I had the money. They do this for a living, and have a better idea than you or I of how to find people.

Might it be easier to work backwards and try to locate the mother? Presumably your brother and she would have had friends in common - perhaps those friends know approximate locations or other details which would help narrow it down.

I’ll second the vote for a private investigator. They do this sort of thing all the time although it might not come cheap.

I know patient files are confidential, but maybe the hospital where she was born will have some info? Or at least a suggestion?

Would you consider posting your dad’s name and your brother’s name around in adoption/family search forums so that if she is looking it would come up in a search? I know it is usually not wise to post names willy-nilly on the internet, but this might be to a good end. Especially if your brother has a common name, linking it with your father’s name might make it stand out in a search. This is more of a passive thing, but it’s something you could do right away to put it out there while you pursue more methodical ways of locating her.

Actually for this sort of thing–tracking a person who is “lost” but not actively hiding–it may not even be that expensive. Assuming a birth certificate can be located for said person and from thence a Social Security Number and credit records, pretty much anybody who lives “on the grid” can be tracked without much effort, including cross country moves and name changes due to marriage. It might be worth a call and consultation fee to see what a professional can suggest.


The interesting part is, my brother is a Junior. So their names are the same. To say our name is unusual is an understatement. Heck, I can’t even figure out how he found my sleazebag father, who is always under the legitimate rader but couldn’t find my brother, who is on the radar.

I asked one of our customers (an attorney) if he knew anyone. He asked me to forward what I knew to him and he would have his private investigator look into it.

I may have found her myspace page, I found one that seemed likely and emailed them. Their last login was in 2006 so I’m not sure if it is any good anymore.

Can anyone request a birth certificate? Our name isn’t on it, but of course the mothers is. I didn’t think just anyone could request that kind of info. Even though I understand such things are public records, I guess I’m vague in understanding what that means.

I Googled for info in the state of Florida and it looks like for birth certificates, their requirements are pretty strict. However, if the birth wasn’t in Florida, it might be a lot easier.

One other thing is genealogy sites might have what you want. Some people fill in some extensive family trees. A relative of the lady may have her and the kid on one of the trees. try a couple larger sites. You can find a lot on a person if the details are filled in. The kid must have information on your brother, so you may find information by searching your brother’s name on the internet.

I’m still confused as to why finding your brother’s daughter has fallen on your shoulders. What’s he doing about it?

Try using switchboard.com, intelius.com, and zabasearch.com, using as many variations as possible on whatever scant info. you do have.

Intelius may eventually charge you eight bucks to get the info. you really want, but if you structure the search properly, you may be able to find out a lot for free – for example, you may be able to confirm the child’s connection to the mother through the probable relatives/roommates section.

My brother was out of state visiting our dying grandmother. I was hte only one with computer access.

The most obvious link would be the phone call to your father. If he still has the phone bills, you know approximately date when she called and someone can get access to the bills, you might have her phone number, or the number of someone who knows her.

We may have found her. Of course, the school won’t release any info, but they did say they would put out feelers. I’ve contacted a few people that may go to school with her if we have found the right girl.

It is so strange. I can’t imagine how a father can find a child. We have no idea if the mother has remarried, if she changed the childs name, he can’t get the birth certificate, and we are working on info that is 16 years old.

I’m hot on the phone and the web and haven’t given a lot of detail.

The mother moved with no forwarding address one week after Maddie had come to visit us. She had left the phone turned on so we would call and not know she was gone. Due to my brother going to visit our dying grandmother, he found out from an aunt that Maddie had talked to our father a year ago. Our father told her that no one knew where my brother was, no one had heard from him in years.

The thing is, my brother had to take my little sister away from my father about 7 years ago. He is a child molesting sleazebag. Technically, the state did it. But my fathers been pissed every since then for taking away his 11 year old sex toy. I am terrified of what he may have said to Maddie, evidently, the search stopped there. If what I know about my father has any bearing on it, it had to be a horrible, disgusting, manipulative conversation. Hell, I’d not be the least surprised if he didn’t realize he had a vulnerable teenager on the line and high tail his ass down to where she was. Really, the possibilities are all rather disgusting.

So getting info from our dear old dad isn’t an option.

The good news is, the school told my brother that he “seemed to have all the right answers.” which means we may have the right girl. They of course, want to talk to the mother and Maddie. If they want my brothers info, the school has it. We don’t even know if the mother knows Maddie was looking for him. Heck, I’m surprised she was even told who her father was.

If we have the right girl, she’s found. If it’s the right one, she’s gonna be pretty weirded out with some strange people thinking she’s related to them.

I know it sounds utterly crazy to think that a father would lie to his grandchild to keep her away from her father, but that side of the family IS crazy, the lot of them. Yesterday, I spoke with my grandmother for the first time in 22 years. When you are dealing with a family where the known child molester is the favored son…well, you are dealing with the crazy.

for the record, peekyou.com is a very good search that also returns back myspace pages. Pretty stinkin’ handy. I got a few leads off of myspace and youtube. You know those teenagers, they love to take pics of themselves.