Frequently Asked Questions

This information is provided as a convenience only and is not intended as legal advice.

Why have I been contacted?

If you have received a letter or phone call from one of our genealogical researchers it could be for any of the following reasons:

You may also have been contacted regarding:

Some cases are more sensitive in nature and due to privacy concerns or legislation, we may be unable to divulge the purpose of our search. In that case, our client will contact you directly to explain, if you are the person entitled to the information.

Whatever the reason, be assured that Newman Research Services only takes on searches that we believe to be of a beneficial nature.

Why do you need information and documents?
Protecting your personal information

In order to locate or confirm the identity of a potential heir to an estate and ensure that we have included the correct people, we need to ask for family information. We may request dates of birth, names of other family members and copies of birth, marriage and death certificates that are necessary to prove family relationships.

We understand your concerns about the protection of your personal information and have systems in place to protect it. For more information see our full Privacy Policy. Our clients are busy lawyers who have retained us to conduct the research and obtain documentation for them. Your cooperation will save the estate time and money.

Be assured that we will not ask you for your:

You should not have to pay any money to anyone in order to receive a real inheritance! However, people continue to be defrauded by the so-called Nigerian / West African letter. You can help by forwarding a copy of these emails to the police.

For information on scams and frauds and how to report them, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

How are your fees paid?

Our reasonable hourly and flat fees are usually paid directly out of the estate when we have been contracted by the executor, administrator or a law firm to locate missing heirs.

We sometimes assist other heir-search firms who operate on a contingency basis. In these cases, the search firm assumes the risk and carries all of the research expenses; they are not paid until the inheritance is distributed and then only if they have negotiated payment agreements with heirs, based on a percentage of the inheritance. Some heir-search firms may pressure heirs to sign over a sizeable percentage of their inheritance. It's not against the law, but not all firms operate that way. It's our intention to work only with firms that negotiate reasonable percentages in a respectful manner. Please contact us if you have any concerns about this process.


How can I prepare for an adoption reunion?

Are you an adoptee or natural parent contemplating a reunion? For best results, we suggest that you prepare yourself. Read up on reunion issues, attend a support group before attempting a reunion. Educating yourself on the other person's point of view may make a world of difference.

Both the search process and reunion can be very emotionally charged and may bring up issues that you thought were long buried. They also have an impact on other people around both you and the person you seek.

Even if you don't feel that you have unresolved issues or emotional trauma as a result of your place in the adoption triad, preparation will make the "ride" smoother. Go slowly.

Recommended reading:

There are a number of books on adoption reunion; this is a good place to start. It's appropriate for adoptees and natural / birth parents.
"Adoption Reunion Survival Guide" by Julie Jarrell Bailey and Lynn N. Giddens

More on adoption issues and the reunion process:
Canadian Council of Natural Mothers
Forget Me Not Family Society - Adoption Circles
Origins Canada