Q:

How do you find a missing parent?

A:

When searching for a missing parent, start the search as soon as possible, especially if the missing parent is in poor health. Return to the parent's last known location, and respect the privacy of all involved. Taking advantage of online and local resources can be helpful, but often, finding a missing parent means contacting and interviewing other people who might have valuable information.

The search for a missing parent should start wherever the last contact with that parent took place. Online searches using Google, directory assistance and social networking sites like Facebook may produce clues to the parent's location. Contacting relatives or friends who may have information on the missing parent may also help narrow the search. If those relatives know where the missing parent is, they may be willing to pass along a message. Looking at the websites of the missing parent's former high school, college or church may also provide helpful contact information. Writing to the former addresses of the missing parent may also produce clues.

Respect the privacy of the missing parent, even during the search. The person doing the search may have information that the parent's friends and family do not know, and disclosing this information may close off lines of communication to the parent. Keep some information withheld to avoid being taken advantage of by people who might pretend to be or to know the missing parent. Keeping some personal information secret provides a way to test anyone claiming to have knowledge of the missing parent.

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