Seeking A Lost Son - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Q: The Tony Shellman story [“Profiles in Courage,” January 2004] really touched me and my husband. Shellman said he hired a CI [certified independent] to locate his birth parents. My husband has a 14-year-old son he’s never met because the mother of the child gave him up for adoption before my husband was ever told. We have previously tried to contact the adoptive parents with no success. Can you provide us with any information concerning locating a CI?
— K. Montgomery Rochester, NY

A: Certified independent search consultants (also known as ISCs) are professionals who, for a fee, will find the party you are searching for and ask permission to divulge their identity and location to you. There are several Websites that might help you and your husband find the son he never met.
Reunite ( is designed to help connect people with their birth families. It includes links to a number of resources, including professional search experts, volunteer adoption “search angels,” and the ( Reunion Registry (it is probably a good idea for your husband to add his information to this registry). The site also links to an informative article about what to consider when seeking a search professional ( article/843/1.html).
Two other potentially helpful resources worth checking out are: Adoptions Reunited (www.adoptions, a free adoption registry that covers the United States and other countries, and Adoptee Birthfamily Connections (, an organization with the goal of mending families torn by adoption.

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Alfred Edmond, Jr.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is SVP/Editor-at-large of BLACK ENTERPRISE. He is a content leader, brand representative and expert resource for all media platforms under the BLACK ENTERPRISE brand, including the web site, social media and live networking events. From 2008 through 2010, Edmond was SVP/Editor-in-chief of, helping to lead the transition of BLACK ENTERPRISE from single-magazine publisher to digital-first multimedia company. From 1995 through 2008, Edmond was chief editor of BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine. He has also hosted The Urban Business Roundtable on WVON-AM in Chicago and Money Matters, a syndicated radio feature of American Urban Radio Networks. Edmond is also an entrepreneur, speaker, author and amateur natural bodybuilding competitor.