The Locator; Troy Dunn is NO Friend to Adoption

I declare war on Troy Dunn the Locator Idiot

Why is Troy Dunn so Dumb?

Troy Dunn, also known as “Troy, THE Locator,” claims to have  assisted more than 40,000 people to find long-lost relatives or loved ones per Wiki.  In case you have been living under a rock don’t have a TV, Troy Dunn is the executive producer and star of the TV show, “The Locator” for five seasons on WE TV. “The Locator” was the highest rated show in WE TV network history.

Now it is important to know that Troy Dunn is NOT an adoptee. His mother is. Supposedly, in 1990, he started on his journey to be THE Locator by helping his own mother, Katie Dunn, find her birthmother. That was his first search. The story goes that it was not a joyful  adoption reunion, but inspired him to focus the attentions of his PI agency “Troy The Locator”,  a Licensed Private Investigative agency (A 1000115), to focus on “reuniting half the world with the other half”.

I shouldn’t have any issue with Troy based on this! And I don’t.

Is Troy Dunn Profiting Off of Adoption?

I don’t even have a problem with the fact that he sold his business to for, I am sure,  I can’t find it, undisclosed amount of money. Apparently the whole slew of 1,800 paid searchers are now owned by Ancestry too. I’m Ok with Ancestry overall. They do have important services that help adoptees including their DNA testing. The popularity of Ancestry demonstrates that the need and desire to find one’s personal family history and past is both normal and human, which supports adoption reunions, and hopefully, in a roundabout way, supports Adoptee Rights. Of course, I must add that I wish a big name place like would really support Adoptee Rights with sponsorship, but hey, that’s just my crazy scheming dreaming again.

I don’t mind that he uses this fame to promote his “leadership training company” or his books.  According to the press, his search services are crazy reduced, form $1,500 to Ten bucks. He is trying to be THE data base of searching.

“The Instant People Locator is the brain child of Troy and was created using one of the most in-depth and accurate data files available anywhere. Unlike other online people finder searches, Troy’s Instant People Locator does NOT rely on worthless white pages for its data but instead combines thousands of somewhat obscure record files into one massive data pool, which he then makes available to the public for more accurate Locate results.”

I LOVE the word “brain child”, but I digress.

I can’t even hold it against Troy Dunn that he is a Mormon Bishop, though we KNOW how bad the LDS church is with adoption!  But, alas, Troy Dunn is a real dope.

Why Is Troy Dunn A Complete Douche?

In the past I kind of ignored, the debates about Troy Dunn. My thoughts, much like my feelings on ABC’s Find My Family, was that anything that brings light to the beauty and human need of adoption reunions, that shows how birthmothers NEVER “get over it” and never “move on” is good and healthy and should be shown to the public to counteract the adoption mythology that hurts us.

However, I have changed my tune, based on this ignorant piece of drivel found on the “official” Troy the Locator Facebook page.

Troy Dunn Adoption Faux Pas on SCOTUS Baby Veronica ruling

YES, Troy Dunn, the Supposed Master of Adoption Reunions, is Supporting an UNNECESSARY Adoption Separation

Really, Troy? Really? I cannot believe that you would take that stance after seeing how many adult adoptees and their natural parents spend years searching for each other….demonstrating the power and need for genetics to find their way home. I was hoping that this is just some horrible blunder made by an ignorant social media marketing company who doesn’t know how disgusting it is to willingly separate a father and child, but no, he kept on making stupid comments supporting the wanna be adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, and putting down the RIGHT of Dusten Brown to continue to parent his daughter Veronica.

The SCOTUS Adoption Ruling  Is Not a Victory!

I’m not going to go off on this case right now, in part because I have already written about my feelings on the Baby Veronica Case and the use of the Indian Child Welfare Act.  As I said in the piece about Contest Adoption and Fathers Rights “Ripped Away Form the Only Home They Have Ever Known”  it shouldn’t be about ICWA to begin with just like the Marriage Equality Act  Supreme Court Ruling should NOT be about gay adoptions!

It’s just bullshit to think that that child should be anywhere other than with her father. What this is about is HOW COME TROY DUNN DOESN’T KNOW THAT?

How, I mean HOW, can he witness THOUSANDS of freaking reunions, filled with tears and hugs, how can he document these on television for all the world to see with an “estimated over 300 million people have personally witnessed one of Troy’s reunions on national TV’ and think it’s OK to take this child away from her father, where she has been thriving and happy, and even THINK about returning her to people that she has NO GENETIC RELATIONSHIP WITH;  who have only shown SELFISHNESS, not love; and who TREAT HER like a possession to be “won”.

I mean really.. W.T.F.

Are you trying to ensure that you stay in business? How can you NOT UNDERSTAND the pain and sorrow caused by adoption separations??

I Declare WAR on Troy Dunn

Ok, not that he really cares, but I shall NEVER say a somewhat good thing about Troy Dunn, his adoption search services, or “The Locator” shows again. In fact, if I ever hear anyone else in the world say a decent thing about Troy Dunn the Locator, I will denounce Troy the Locator  loudly and quite vocally for all to hear.

And I promise to be especially loud when I am in earshot of Adoption-land..and well, that’s pretty much everyday.

Troy Dunn, you sir, are an ass. 

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About the Author

Claudia Corrigan DArcy
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine,, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.

29 Comments on "The Locator; Troy Dunn is NO Friend to Adoption"

  1. The reason Dunn sees the SCOTUS ruling as a “victory” is BECAUSE he is LDS and perhaps to perpetuate his income source, too. (I am a member of the LDS AKA “Mormon” church as well, BTW, in a spirit of full disclosure.)

    As a policy, the LDS church views single parents as less worthy and capable than two married people. The LDS church’s official stance is if the biological parents do not marry, the child should be placed for adoption. Period. (See for the actual policy as published by the LDS church).

    Troy Dunn is an opportunistic pariah to the adoption reform community. Period. Count me in, Claudia, in your efforts to dethrone him.

    P.S. The reason is not more supportive of adoptee rights is because it is owned by another group of Mormons from Provo UT who most likely hold the unfortunate belief that adoptive parent’s ownership of an adoptee trump the rights of the adoptee, just as the majority of other members of the LDS church do.

    • I actually found my mother, father, and brother (and lots of other relatives) via It would be so deliciously ironic if it turns out that I used an anti-reunion website to reunite.

      As for Troy Dunn – he isn’t doing anything that anyone else with a computer can’t do. He’s using only public information, exactly like I did (and Priscilla does). His support for the Capos funny that the Mafia uses the same term disgusts me – as does his public exploitation of reunions. Not that Troy is the first person to do this. It’s been happening since he was in diapers. Is it buyer beware? Sure it is. People should know better than to broadcast their most personal moments on Television. I’m sure most of his clients know this. It’s just that their desperation to find the person they’re looking for outweighs anything else.

      Anyhow, I know this is an old post….

      • I agree about the broadcasting of such deeply private and personal times for people being too much. BUT….I would do it if given a chance to meet my long lost sibling (brother born in 1950 to Kathleen Grace neé Huff Barrett and Jesse Barrett)

  2. YO! Your feelings were the same as mine about Troy Dunn and I’ve said so at First Mother Forum, but his post is unbelievable.! What is wrong with him, after all those tearful reunions? I think it may have to do with the deep-seated Mormon feeling that Adoption-Is-Good, Adoption-Is-Great! Thanks for bringing this to light.

  3. Uhm, yah! I’ve been trying to say it for years:
    From my blog, Saving You From Yourself:
    There are two kinds of paid searchers: The pay-up-front, no guaranty, such as OmniTrace, WorldWide Tracers, and Search Quest America (which I understand are all tied together financially or have extensive cooperation agreements) and the no-find/no fee firms such as Kinsolving and Pamela Slaton. Frankly, I don’t have as much of a problem with these two companies, which charge fees upwards of $2,500 to $4,000, because at least they only get their money if they make a successful conclusion to the search. My only difficulty with them is that they are not fully honest with searchers and inform them of all of their options.

    On the other hand, I do not have one merciful or tolerating word for the pay-up-front, no guaranty companies. I wish people who are considering signing contracts with these firms would do a little research. Just Googling the company name in quotation marks along with the word “complaint” will bring an eye-opening education, and one will quickly learn that the ethics of these businesses are appalling and that they’re even in cahoots with each other. For example, I have been credibly informed that, although Troy Dunn claims he is not in the search business any longer, everyone who puts their contact information on his site is immediately referred to Search Quest America, which is run by Susan Friel Williams, a former Dunn employee. There are also compelling allegations that Dunn receives a kickback for every victim SQA signs up, which he has apparently denied.

    Here’s how these companies operate: First, they get referrals by harvesting contact information from on-line adoption registries that have public contact information. They have also spent years scouring the Internet, harvesting sites and have formed their own new registries to entice victims. These searchers will then be contacted by sales marketers who will make grandiose promises and pressure them into signing contracts for minimum fees of $1,500, which are good for only six months and for which there is no promise or guaranty of a completed “result.” These marketing agents adhere to strict company guidelines to persuade the victims to sign. For example, they are not allowed to inform searchers of all their alternatives (i.e., that they can get their original birth certificate in certain states, that they should sign up with ISRR – International Soundex Reunion Registry – the largest free on-line registry in the world) or tell them that there is free, competent, very successful help available in search and support groups and through independent search angels. We have even heard of instances where they have falsely told the victims that they “have no option” but to hire them. Even if they know a case is fairly easily solved (something anyone reasonably savvy on the computer can do by themselves in a few minutes), the marketing agents will push the victim to sign up and pay the full fee, thus boosting the company’s “success stories” with easy searches. Even worse, the sales reps know there are cases that cannot possibly be solved (black/grey market adoptions, or private adoptions where there is no birth name and no non-identifying information), yet sign them up anyway just to get the $1,500 non-refundable fee.

    Whenever a consumer who is vulnerable, in confusion and distress,
    is not fully and honestly informed of all their options,
    it is exploitation!

    The amount of money these companies have been ripping off people is staggering. Just an example, an employee of Search Quest America recently slipped up in an on-line forum and declared that the company had “302,000” clients. Accounting for an errant ‘2’ in there (the message was obviously typed in angry haste), I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they have 30,000 clients. In a recent press release, Williams wrote, Since the company was founded in 2008, over two thousand families have been reunited! For the sake of expediency, I am willing to round that up to 3,000. Subtracting 3,000 from 30,000, then, would leave us a figure of 27,000 clients whose cases have apparently not yet been resolved. Then is it reasonable to assume that, at $1,500 each, SQA has raked in $45,000,000 to solve 3,000 cases? (!!) I wonder if the IRS is aware of this? Even just considering the solved cases, it comes out to $4,500,000. Pamela Slaton on her website claims, I have solved over 3000 cases to date. Her fees range from $2,000-$2,500. Again, using the minimum fee, that comes to $6,000,000.

    I have been saying for years, if we had put just half of the money and effort that we have been giving to these unsavory rip-off artists over the years into adoptee rights and efforts in state legislatures to unseal original birth certificates, we would have been over and done 20 years ago!

  4. All paid search is predatory because it is predicated on the existence of discriminatory state legislation that changes identities, falsifies birth certificates, and seals records. These f’n reunion shows typically skip all of this f’n fine print that still affects millions of adult Americans because, well, f’n television.

    • You can say fucking here 🙂 of fuckin’ if you prefer. .. especially on this topic of fucking sealed OBCs laws.

  5. Troy’s been on my shit list for about 15 years. If you really want to kick it up, check out (if you can still find it online) the numerous complaints against him filed with the FL AG’s office. He also sued at least 2 searchers who criticized him him online in the 1990s. One of the Great Moments of Adoption History happened when Troy, Bill Pierce and Ron Morgan appeared on the Sally Jesse Raphael Show and spent the morning riding around in limo together. You can find Ron’s account in the Google alt.adoption archives. Yu may also find some mention of the coomplains and lawsuits there, too. I’d type in “Troy Dunn” to search.

    BTW, I know for a fact that he stiffed some professional paid searchers whom he contracted out searches to.

  6. You do know that Sally Jesse Raphael was an adoptive mother? Who always managed to get in that reunions were iffy?

    She had a radio talk show when my memoir, Birthmark, came out and told the book’s publicist that of course they were not interested…because she was an adoptive mother. No explanation needed, right? Same story with Larry King. And adoptive parents wonder why I am annoyed with them–because they are the greatest stumbling block to open records! If they were clamoring for change, it would happen. \

    But I digress. Later on, when reunion stories equaled ratings she tried to get me on her show. I was happy to let someone else do the honors. I couldn’t stomach the woman.

    Thank you Priscilla for the info about search companies. I did pay to find my daughter–$1,200 in 1981–paid to an unknown searcher before the days of the computer. He or she already had figured out who she was from the clues in Birthmark, which is how I hoped to find her. At least I got the information in a matter of days.

    • Alas, Lorraine, your search company did not even bother to “figure out … from the clues” who your daughter was. You were, like so many other desperate people, victims of nefarious activities and “inside sources’. Were you one of the many who sent the money inside a magazine to a blind PO box? Didn’t you ever wonder about why that cloak-and-dagger was necessary if it was legitimate? I wonder if your paid informant was one of the crew that was arrested and tried in Albany some years back?

  7. Ugg, don’t get me started on the Baby Veronica case…SHAME on the adoptive parents for continuing to fight for her, after she has now been with her father for over a year. How could they do that to this little girl?? Makes me sick.

  8. This is one of your more entertaining pieces. But yeah you pretty much exposed Troy Dunn (even his name sounds douchey).

    Annie, the question I’d like to ask these APs is how are they going to explain this to this little girl when she asks them why her mommy and daddy didn’t want her? If I’d have to guess she’ll get the whole your mommy loved you so much she placed you for adoption and that her daddy abandoned her. Eventually she’ll learn the truth and her adoptive parents will feel her full wrath and rightfully so.

  9. Claudette Trahan-Garman | July 14, 2013 at 5:33 am |

    Claudia, I must say this is one of my FAVORITE postings! I have never seen an episode of “The Locater” and to be honest, I have never had the desire. Why is that? Hmm, Troy Dunn is making a profit off of one of the most “vulnerable” population of people out there! I denounce him right there with you! I remember reading something about 2 years ago about a reunion on the show and it made me think, what a stupid asshole he is! He “reunited a mother and daughter”. On television I guess everything played out to look “perfect”, but the woman that was reunited told a whole different story. It is not the story that matters, but this…Troy doesn’t even offer any type of “post reunion” therapy for his guests. You would think that with all of the money that he has, and him seeing the raw emotions of reunion that he would offer at least some type of therapy? Nope! He is just here to take advantage of a population of people that are denied basic human rights, and that he doesn’t even acknowledge!
    I have also heard that the reunions that he does have on his show are not even challenging, and could be solved without having to go through the trauma of being on National television. This is just based solely on my opinion, but I have always considered my reunion to be very special and private. There are so many emotions that you go through. I would not want that for all the world to see, especially on his show. He would “flip” it around so that everyone would think WOW that is so awesome. What is wrong with adoption! Those type of issues aren’t even brought up. I would love to challenge him to solve a case of my choosing in Michigan. I would bet that his true lack of knowledge would show then. But again, he pumps up the “audience” and basically makes a spectacle of reunion! That in its own makes him a fucking douche bag!
    As for the “paid searchers”…this has become a “class” of its own! I am totally for unsealed records and I think to have to pay for something that is rightfully yours, is not only a direct violation of the Constitution, it is also ethically and morally wrong. I believe and know that one day everyone will have the same rights as everyone else. The unfortunate thing is that some of us (like myself) are screwed! I live in the State of Michigan and in Jan of 2010, I became aware that I had a “sister” lost to adoption. Back then I was extremely naïve and had no idea about anything considering adoption. So when my mother provided me with what I thought was a wealth of information and for about 3 weeks I was stuck in the same place, going nowhere, I realized how fucked up the laws were. So I found myself in a situation where I had to use a Confidential Intermediary. Contrary to what I had heard, which included horror stories from other states, to be brutally honest, I couldn’t really complain. I paid 250.00 and I was reunited within a week of sending out the certified check. Now, please don’t take what I am saying out of context, because I still believe the laws aren’t fair and we should never have to pay. But, all of the Intermediaries that I know in Michigan are somehow tied to adoption. Mine happened to be an adoptee. I still keep in contact with her to this day and I spoke about how much searches really cost. I should clarify…the Probate Courts in Michigan set the CI costs, unlike other states. Her response to me was, using my search as an ex…the cost was around 70.00. But, a search that she just completed went well over the 1000.00 mark and she still received the 250.00. So I look at the money that was left over from my case went on to help soak up the cost for someone else’s.
    With all of that being said, I never thought that it would come to a point to where I felt like this, but when I see the “blood sucking, leaches” going after a Michigan adoptee, I snag them up and if I have to, I will send them to the CI program. I would rather see them get some results, truth and honesty for 250.00 vs getting screwed over and receiving nothing.
    So Troy Dunn and your “followers”, you are exposed for what you are! And since I unfortunately lived in Utah for exactly one year and am not of the LDS faith, but since I lived in a very hypocritical city concerning the laws of the faith….Troy you are not temple worthy and I bet you go to the temple, but wait, I am totally sure that the church is happy because instead of donating money towards the cause that feeds your family, you tithe the LDS church very well! Your a frigging hypocrite!
    Thank you for letting me share my opinion. And I don’t want anyone to thing that I am “anti Mormon”, because I believe that it is everyone’s right to your choice of religion.

  10. Love this discussion. I’m equally displeased with Troy Dunn. Well written.

    • Then YOU must not be looking for someone. Or hoping to be found!
      Your life is all wrapped up and tied with a pretty bow (or so you think).
      And you sit back and wag your finger at those with the need to know.

  11. Keely Denning | August 14, 2013 at 12:05 pm |

    Troy Dunn obviously has no clue about ICWA and couldn’t buy one with all this money. SCOTUS did not strike at ICWA, in fact, they UPHELD IT! The SCOTUS stated that ICWA could not be used in Veronica’s case because they did not view the situation as “pre existing”, so Dunn is VERY MUCH WRONG!
    I am Indian, I remember before ICWA running and hiding anytime a well dressed white person came to our house, I knew kids would be taken by these people, and when my own daughter was born in December 1977, child services came to my house every week to check on her! When ICWA was passed, I told them not to come again.
    Why should I had to have grown up in fear from white people? Why should I had to have been checked on with my newborn every week? I refuse to go back living in those fearful days! I refuse to be put in a position that I would have to teach my grandchildren how to spot and hide from a white person.
    IF Troy Dunn actually has a Indian brother, adopted 30 years ago, (I don’t know about anyone else but I have never seen him shown or heard his name) did his family violate ICWA or did this “brother” not qualify for protection under the ICWA law, perhaps, Troy Dunn is admitting in public, that his mother violated a federal law?

  12. speechless….that never happens

  13. Thanks for bringing more light on this subject. I find the man to be an example of just about everything that is wrong with America. He is a FUCKING DOUCHE-BAG.

  14. I was on the show the Locator. I almost didn’t do it BC I felt Troy was an ass. After nearing this “birth mother” and hearing her story. I felt leaving there that she and Troy were lying. I met her BC I had some questions. To this day I still believe it was fake or something about it was. Its interesting to hear peoples view on Troy!

  15. I know this is an old post but I have to respond. First I knew Troy when we were kids and he was and as far as I can tell a really sweet guy. As far as Baby Verionica and the IWCA. Dustin Brown relinquished his rights to the child before she was born. The birth mother then placed her for adoption and she lived with the Capobianca’s for almost 2 years before Dustin was wrongly awarded custody of her. His rights were not terminated, he willingly/knowingly gave them up. and the ICWA has caused many Native American children who’s parents were simply not fit to parent languish in shelters and foster care because there aren’t enough willing Native American adoptive foster parents. Most individuals in Oklahoma are a least some Native American even without a roll number but if you don’t have a roll number you can’t adopt an child with one even if the parents will never be involved. In this case the IWCA was wrongly applied but here in Oklahoma everyone has been so fearful of it that it has trumped everything else. It’s nice to see that the SCOUS can put it back in place. And the whites taking Indian children? That hasn’t happened in at least 50 years or more. It might be time to put that buggie man to rest.

    • Yeah, Christi, sorry, but to be perfectly honest you are seriously talking out of your ass. First off on CANNOT relinquish the rights to the children BEFORE birth. That. Is. Just. Illegal. AS far the rest of your comment, more bullshit I have already ripped apart.; Try reading. Knowledge is power.

      I don’t give a hoot if Troy used to be sweet. Now he is also an ass.

    • Christi,
      I hope you don’t stick up for your childhood friend over Veronica’s forced adoption in public, because you make yourself look just as ignorant, uneducated, and an #%@$$#! as your “good ol’ buddy, the pre-school Stalker”.

      Why don’t you do something worthwhile with your life and stand up for Adoptees’ Rights instead of scum like Troy?

  16. This guy Troy Dunn, in my experience, is a pure fraud. I have YET to hear from him. It’s been DECADES. He too my money and did squat. Squat. But he took the money.
    What a sham. His mother has got to be so embarrassed by what she has raised.

  17. I bet my previous comment will never be seen. That’s how he controls the public perception of him.
    No I had not already said that.

    • Not sure why you think I wouldn’t publish your comment. Obviously this is not a house that Troy built and his PR machine has no control here. I hate the douche.

  18. I do not want my comment moderated. What happened to true freedom of that only when it’s what you like.
    And please Troy don’t say you don’t know about these tactics.

    • Umm.. hello. I AM NOT TROY! WTf?

      Not sure where you think you are, but take a look around. You are commenting on a post I wrote calling Troy Dunn an asshole.

      And as for comments being moderated? Tough. It’s MY website. I have my comments set so that a person gets their first comment approved. I do that to control stupid spammy comments and make sure that agency shrills can’t go nuts. After your fist comment is OK’d and then you get free range. Unless, that is, I deem you an asshole. I have a comment policy set here:

      If you want free speech then YOU pay for your own website. If I didn’t approve your comment fast enough for you, then deal with it. I have a life.. I build other websites, I have children, they like attention, etc.

  19. Deborah Ann Hopf | October 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm |

    I was adopted in Amarillo texas on june 8th 1954 through the catholic adoption diocese at 3 days old. The hospital was first Baptist hospital in Amarillo texis. Never have met my real mother was adopted in a good catholic family through the church. All I know is that my mothers name was patricia. I would like to find out if my mother is alive and if I have brothers or sisters. 407-731-1706

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