Reunion Registry


ISRR Cradle

Our Logo

The globe and compass points indicate our international service to the world-wide community of those separated from family. The symbol in the center of this globe is the earliest known cipher indicating "child in a crib". This was donated by artist Kit Brown of Colorado.


What We Do

The International Soundex Reunion Registry is a non-profit, tax exempt, charitable organization founded in 1975 by Emma May Vilardi. ISRR is a mutual consent reunion registry for persons desiring a reunion with next-of-kin. This agency serves the needs of family members who have been separated from each other by adoption, divorce, foster care, institutional care, abandonment, crisis, etc. ISRR is referred to by many groups, internet resources, state departments, courts, government and private agencies -- though not directly affiliated with any other registry, organization or website.


What is Soundex?

Soundex is a code used in early American Census (beginning 1880), patented in 1918, it became prominent in the 1960's, and remains a standard feature today in SQL, ORACLE and other computer programs. It is a phonetic way of indexing names by sound, as pronounced in English, to make it easier to find information on names that sound alike, but may be spelled differently (Mayer, Meyer, Meier, Maier, Mire, Myer). Thus Soundex can help find a name in a database, even though it may have various spellings. Soundex code consists of a letter (always the first letter of the name) and three numbers. These numbers are based on specific consonant sounds, ignores subsequent vowels and establishes exception rules. For the coding used by ISRR, click here: ISRR Soundex Code



ISRR Founder - Emma May VilardiYou are Not Alone

Remember that you are not alone. There are millions who have sought family before you; and many hundreds, or thousands, of new registrations at ISRR each month. We do matches every day. There are many resources available. We hope this website will be a solid stepping stone in your quest for information and connection to family. All the volunteers at ISRR look forward to serving you.


Source of Hope

From the kind and caring hearts of our founding Trustees to the current involvement of dedicated volunteers, this registry remains a continuous source of hope for those separated from family. Many of those commited to ISRR today have been part of this service for decades. The blessing is that each year the work here results in reunions and access to information for so many individuals.


This Registry belongs to those who support it, those who register and those who believe in its mission. It is a humanitarian service, dedicated to providing access, education and information that will help people reconnect with family members. Everyone who volunteers at, or contributes to, ISRR is gifted with the opportunity to share in the fulfilling of dreams and the wonderous changing of lives.


May your desires to know your family members, become reality too.





Video & Recording of "We're Together Now"

This song was written and performed by Steve Butch Rillera, husband of adoptee/birthmother Marri Jo Rillera, who served as ISRR Registrar 2001-2011. Butch worked as a professional musician with the Righteous Brothers, White Trash, Redbone, Rubicon and BimBam. The engineers, musicians, studio and singers all donated their time and talent. Special thanks to: Edo Guidotti & JEL Recording Studio, Dave Garland, Larry Hanson, Jose Silva, Richard Phipps, Donna Garcia, Barry Rillera, Lauren Pannow and the Chorus. The Chorus was dozens of TRIADOPTION® Library volunteers and their families, all personally affected by adoption and reunion. They all gathered for this memorable project, crowded into the studio, sharing mics and joining voices on a warm California evening in 1981.



"We're Together Now" -- VIDEO


"We're Together Now" -- SONG ONLY


© Copyright & Publishing 1981. Steve L. Rillera. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Currently ISRR has permission to use this song on this site, however there is no permission given to copy or duplicate this song for other links, websites, companies, organizations, individual or personal use.



Most Asked QuestionsWhat is a Reunion Registry?

A system for matching persons who desire contact with their next-of-kin by birth. ISRR is a mutual consent registry requiring registration by two related parties to facilitate a reunion.


Who Can Register at ISRR?

    1. Any adoptee, foster child, or person separated from family who is eighteen years or older.
    2. Birth parents, birth siblings and other birth relatives.
    3. Adoptive parents, or legal guardians, of adoptees and foster children who are still under the age of 18.
    4. Legal guardians/representatives of persons with disabilities.
    5. Genetic offspring of deceased adoptees or, if they are under 18, their legal parent or guardian.
    6. Foster parents, and foster family members.
    7. Family members of abducted, kidnapped or missing or children.
    8. Genetic relatives, surrogates, sperm and egg donors where the date and place of birth is known.

How Does the Registry Work?

When a registration is received, the form is scanned and information indexed on computer. If data matches, and the ISRR volunteers determine a relationship exists, both parties will be notified immediately.


How is ISRR Funded?

ISRR is a non-profit, tax exempt corporation funded entirely by donations from registrants like you, and their families. Because ISRR has been primarily staffed by volunteers since 1975, each donation goes a long way to keeping services free. In addition, it has been blessed with wonderful software contributions from Microsoft, Adobe, Intuit and other generous corporations.


How Much Does it Cost?

There is no fee to register. All contributions are tax deductible. The generosity of each registrant enables this registry to provide for the reunions of today ... and tomorrow.


Can ISRR Confirm Relationship?

Persons who are already in contact may want further confirmation of relationship. This is not something ISRR can provide. ISRR utilizes only the info provided by each registrant on the form they submit. ISRR does not access original records or documents. Persons seeking confirmation they are related should contact the state, agency or court for assistance, or do DNA testing.

What's New

What is Going On at ISRR


The ISRR website was completely redesigned beginning late July 2011. In August, it was uploaded and several hundred persons were invited to test the pages before a general launch to the public. This has been a long-time goal of Registrar, Marri Rillera and the ISRR Trustees. As of September 1, 2011, the official website for ISRR is ISRR.ORG. The former main site ( will be linked directly to this site and there will be no interruption in services or access. If you run into any problems, please let us know by calling the office. We appreciate your patience while our volunteers make these improvements!



A Wonderful Year


Want to wish you and all those you love a safe and wish-fulfilling holiday season and upcoming 2012. If you are seeking reunion with family from whom you have been separated, we hope you will achieve that dream.


Be sure to check out the video below of an adoptee who was reunited with her birthfamily through ISRR.


In 2010:

There were 3,692,023 visits to our website pages and social network activity has thrived -- over 4,682 people joined our Facebook Group and 4,821 our Reunion Registry Page. ISRR received 2,972 new registrations, with 799 updates. At years end, we have 207,618 Active Registrations in our database. (We do not count any registrations where updates indicate they have been reunited by other means, or those for whom we've had a match.) ISRR handled 591 registrant matches, plus thousands more utilized our referrals and resources to acquire their non-identifying information and reunite with family by other means via groups, state/province options, help from search angels, etc. Though the majority of registrants were born in the United States, this year there were also registrations from births that took place in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chili, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, England, Germany, Guyana, Ireland, Israel, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Switzerland, and Turkey.


Our office move was completed in October 2010 and it is so nice to have more space. We continue to have unique and wonderful matches. The social networks have grown rapidly (see links below), and so much activity has resulted in increased registration and contributions. This is a true blessing for our volunteers and those we serve.




Please Consider Making a Donation to Support ISRR

Like many non-profits, the current economy means every contribution must stretch to keep our service free and available. If you find anything on this website that is informative, helpful or worth your time, please help ISRR continue. Without the donations made by the individuals served, and their families, ISRR would not be able to offer these services. Large or small, every amount helps. You can make contributions online directly through PayPal or via Network for Good -- or send by mail. We thank you in advance for your generosity.

Donate Now




ISRR is on Facebook ~ MySpace ~ Twitter

Click on each to visit our social network pages.



Reunion Registry | ISRR on Facebook




ISRR on MySpace





Video from an Adoptee Reunited via ISRR

This video is done by adoptee, Renee Mills DeLuca. It came to our attention when she posted it on our Facebook Page. Recently it seems the youtube account has been closed and the video is no longer available. We will leave it here a bit longer to see if that changes before removing it completely.





Annual RegDay

The 16th Annual RegDay was scheduled for Saturday, November 13th, 2010. As always, our appreciation goes to all those who volunteered in cities across the USA to make those events successful. If there are any plans for future Reg Days, it will be coordinated by the Adoption Registration Coalition, at: . Below is an excerpt from an article on RegDay in Oklahoma.


Registry reunites adopted kids, birth parents By MATT GLEASON World Scene Writer Published: 11/5/2009  2:19 AM.



RegDay Reunion

Lynne Bates and Shirley Saxon stand outside Gilcrease Museum. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World



About Soundex

The International Soundex Reunion Registry is the nation’s largest and oldest nonprofit agency that reunites family members separated by, among other things, adoption.>


Saturday is the registry’s 15th annual nationwide RegDay, which includes Tulsa’s RegDay ’09 at Promenade Mall, 4107 S. Yale Ave.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, attendees can enter the free registry, learn about adoption support groups, along with lifelong issues in adoption, search, and reunion.

“It’s a scary step to search,” said Samantha Franklin, a Bixby adoptee who is a part of RegDay ’09, “but everything I’ve ever heard is that no matter what you find out — even finding out my birth mother had passed away — it was so much better for me to know than not to know. It just fills so many voids in our lives.”

To demonstrate the power of filling a void, Franklin pointed to the stories of two Tulsa women. Meet both at RegDay ’09.

Articles & Media

    Newspaper & Magazine Articles


    ISRR has been written about hundreds of times in articles around the world since its humble beginnings in 1975. We have reproduced some of them here, especially the early ones highlighting the work of founder and Registrar, Emma May Vilardi, who passed away in 1990, and then her husband Anthony Vilardi, who carried on until he retired in 2001. There have been stretches where publicity nearly overwhelmed the volunteers and staff, with thousands of requests and new registrations arriving each week. Because everyone was so dedicated, they often worked into the night and weekends, until every registration was processed and every match call made.


    Dear Abby

    Columnist Abigail Van Buren referred her readers to ISRR many times since the early 1980's. In the three days following the publication of the first column, ISRR received more than 4,500 requests for registration forms. Each time, there would be a large increase in registrations and resulting matches.




Newspaper & Magazine Articles



    The Origins of ISRR

    Written By Tony Vilardi, 1996


    Emma May Vilardi ~ Founder

    June 23, 1922 - July 9, 1990

    Stricken during her childhood years by three severe illnesses and diseases, and again by cancer at age 26, Emma May Vilardi wondered how could this all happen to her. Her mother was an adoptee and severed from any access to her birth family history.

    Emma May quickly learned the importance of knowing family medical history and of the inaccessibility by those in need of such medical history. Enlisting the help from medical professionals, guidelines were established for recording medical history, as much as was known about all the birth family members. It was the hope that adoption professionals make this a standard practic in future placements and make it available to those who would benefit best from its knowledge. Updating the adoption record is very important.

    The social services system was too slow to respond or non-responsive to the needs of the adoption community in providing access to any birth parent data. Many of the over 2000 illnesses and diseases of a genetic origin, once manifested, were deadly to many adoptees and their offspring.

    Thus the International Soundex Reunion Registry was established to immediately respond to those touched by adoption wishing contact or information. This was the quickest and most non-restrictive way to serve those needs.

    Since its establishment in 1975, the registry services were expanded to serve the needs of all in search of their next of kin, regardless of any causes of separation. The registry services continue to be provided at no cost to its registrants, supported entirely by individual donations.


    For the many thousands of families reunited by this registry, it has brought the answers most had sought about their heritage. For those yet to be reunited, this registry remains for many, their only source of hope.

    Click here for more history on ISRR


    Tony & Emma at Front DoorCarson City Building 1989-2007

    Emma in her Office with ISRR's First Computer 1989The Cutest Couple - Because of them ISRR has reunited tens of thousands.


    SOUNDEX CODE For several decades all registration forms were coded by hand and then the code entered into the computers. Today this is done automatically in the background by the computer programs. Click here to see the original sheets used by Emma and the staff to process registrations: Simplified Soundex Code & Coding Reminders.


The Volunteer Blessing

ISRR is staffed primarily by volunteers, including the ISRR Voluntary Board of Trustees and Advisors.

Most years, it takes one or two full time people, plus several more who give anywhere from 1-200 hours a month. As many of them have expressed, "This is a labor of love." Without the incredible time and expertise gifted by so many dedicated individuals for over 35 years, it would never have been possible to offer continuous service, and make matches reuniting well over 12,000 families. All their time, and your donations of dollars and gifts-in-kind, have made this partnership between those ISRR serves, and those who do the daily work, so successful. ISRR is here because everyone gives so generously, because of you and those shown here, we can continue to reunite families.


To investigate volunteer opportunities at ISRR, please go to "Volunteer" by clicking on the DONATE button above.


ISRR Board of Trustees ~ Past and Present


Original Board ~ Emma May Vilardi ~ Chairman and Registrar; Anthony S. Vilardi, Mary Jo Rillera, Reuben Pannor, Barbara A. Jackson, Donald E. Humphrey, Douglas W. Hopkins, Dr. Joseph H. Davis, Carol Cramer, Dr. Dirck W. Brown, and George G. Anthony at time of incorporation as a 501(c)3 tax exempt, non-profit in August of 1981. Over the decades a number of trustees have passed on or moved on, some new have been added, and many of the originals are still involved.


Current ISRR Executive Trustees & Officers ~ 
Marri Rillera Doug 1 Joan Vanstone Butch Rillera Mary Buckley

Marri Jo Rillera

Douglas W. Hopkins

Vice President

Joan Vanstone

Vice President

Butch Rillera


Mary Buckley



Diana Brown Not Pictured: Carol Cramer Drummond, Assistant Secretary Monica Byrne Jim Gritter Reuben Pannor

Diana E. Brown

  Monica Byrne Jim Gritter

Reuben Pannor

Guardian Trustee

Board of Advisors
  Sherilyn Canady Kathleen Murphy Penny Partridge Karen Tinkham


Sherilyn Canady

Kathleen Murphy

Penny Callan Partrige

Karen Tinkham

Past Trustees & Advisory Board Members
George Anthony Annette Baran Leonie Boehmer Martin Brandfon Dirck W. Brown
George Anthony Annette Baran Leonie Boehmer Martin Brandfon Dirck W. Brown
Rich Buhler Dr. Joe Davis Jennifer Erven Sally File Don Humphrey
Rich Buhler Dr. Joe Davis

Jennifer Erven

Sally File Donald Humphrey
Sandra Musser Cheryl Smith Joe Soll Emma May Vilardi Tony Vilardi
Sandra Musser Cheryl Smith

Joe Soll

Emma May Vilardi Anthony S, Vilardi

Former Executive, Guardian and Alternate Trustees ~ Not Pictured:

Toni Anthony, Molly Brown, Carol Davis, Barbara Jackson,

Patty O'Gorman, C. Gallagher Ray, Edward J. Risk, Kathleen Vilardi

Trustees No Longer With Us But Fondly Remembered:

George G. Anthony, Annette Baran, Dirck W. Brown, Dr. Joe Davis, Sally File,

Barbara Jackson, Beve Tansey Kirk, June Tanner, Anthony S & Emma May Vilardi


In Addition, ISRR has been blessed with many volunteers and dedicated staff members over the years. Below are a few who will never be forgotten and deserve much thanks. Without them the 35+ years of services, offering hope and reuniting families, would not be the incredible service that it is to hundreds of thousands of registrants and their families.  Here are some photos taken over the years.


Volunteers 1995
Pictured left to right: Tony Vilardi, who was Registrar for 11 years; Cheryl Smith, an employee for 12 years;  Susan Braun Vilardi, a volunteer and employee who did most of the match calls for over a decade and married Tony; Doug Hopkins, volunteered for over 15 years, Toni Anthony, married to George former ISRR secretary.

Volunteer Lunch 2006

Volunteer Lunch 2006 ~ Left to Right:

Cully Ray, Cheryl Smith, Treva & Ken Jewkes; Doug Hopkins, Marri & Butch Rillera

Volunteers 2004

Staff & Volunteers Dinner 2003-2004 ~ Bottom: Treva Jewkes, Susan Vilardi, Joyce Divine. Kathleen Murphy. Top: Doug Hopkins, Marri Rillera, Butch Rillera, Cheryl Smith


Volunteers 2002

Volunteer Dinner 2002 ~ Joyce Devine & Guest, Marri & Butch Rillera, Gary & Cheryl Smith,

Susan & Tony Vilardi, Doug & Marie Hopkins, Treva Jewkes --  others not pictured.



ISRR Policies

This registry serves as a mutual consent vehicle for reuniting with family and does not provide counseling services, search assistance, or perform an investigation to locate individuals not registered at ISRR. Our online SOS eXchange offers free support from peers, where each individual is entirely responsible for the exchange, advice, information and content offered. ISRR joyfully provides this forum for open exchange.


Voluntary registration by adults desiring contact or reunion with their next of kin by birth, is deemed legal consent for contact between parties to a match. Submission of a registration grants permission for the data to be shared with other registrants where there is the possibility of relationship.


Registrants are held responsible for all information provided on their form and any documentation attached thereto. Contact information must be kept current so ISRR does not incur additional costs and time trying to locate registrants when a match, or possible match, occurs.


ISRR will notify a registrant only when a "match" is made. Confirmation that a form is received is sent to everyone making a donation with their registration/update via mail or email, along with the contribution receipt.


Mail requiring signatures, or for volunteers to stand in line at the post office, will no longer be accepted. Homeland Security regulations have made it too difficult and time consuming.


Registrations are stored in digital form and the originals shredded. Information provided by registrants is private. Their names and identifying information is not available online. ISRR does not sell or share data with other companies, agencies, organizations, individuals or corporations.


Contacting ISRR:

By Mail:   ISRR P.O. Box 371179 Las Vegas, NV 89137

Mail is picked up and processed by volunteers throughout each week.* On average, it takes 7-10 working days for registrations and updates to be opened, coded, checked to see if each registrant is new or already in the system, prepped, scanned, indexed and match lookups completed. Please see FAQ for the most asked questions.

By Phone: 888-886-ISRR or 888-886-4777

Volunteers answer phones from various locations during business hours indicated on the message. Unfortunately, they cannot return calls to phones that do not accept calls from blocked numbers because we utilize a virtual office calling system.

WWW.ISRR.ORG is now the official ISRR website. Both & are owned and operated by International Soundex Reunion Registry, Inc. and linked directly to ISRR.ORG as a means of keeping indexes and other online information current and easily accessible to visitors. Other sites refer or link to ISRR, but are not directly affiliated.


*Unfortunately, the Homeland Security rules have made it increasingly difficult for our volunteers to pick up mail needing special attention. We ask that you do not send anything that requires a signature or for the volunteers to wait in line, as these will no longer be received.


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