How many have met their birth-parents?

search and reunion

i started the search, like most adoptees, but found how much money everyone wants, and how much everyone lies in paper-work and everything, so i stopped.  i read nightmare stories about reunions and i'm sick of therapists saying i need to love myself first.

the way i see it, i lost my mother through adoption, and i got screwed with a psycho-bitch mother with a war-veteran husband. they thought they could be good parents, their experiment went bad and i was the sloppy result.

at least some agency made money out of the deal, so that's good.

Missed opportunity

I feel like when I needed my mother most, she wasn't there.  Now that I'm an adult, why would I want to re-live my childhood now with a woman I don't even know?  It would be nice to see pictures and meet siblings, I suppose, but I don't feel like I need family like that in my life anymore.  I found friends.  They are my family now.

Do I begrudge my birthmother?  Not at all.  She gave me life.

I blame the people who told her to give me up for adoption.  They should have known better than to tell a mother to get rid of her baby.

Family estranged and seen as strangers

Isn't it odd how adoption makes natural family members strangers and complete strangers sudden instant "family members"? 

Family disruption

In my case it indeed did disrupt my family, though I must say all was not all that peachy before my adoption, either.

I was adopted by my natural father's family, which lead to my natutal mother, being the in-law, no longer being considered part of the family after my adoption and her divorce of my natural father.

Relations between my adoptive parents and my natural father freezed for more than fifteen years, causing tension at family get-togethers; what party was going to show up and what party was going to stay away, stuff like that.

Though I knew who my brother and sister were, the first time after the age of six I saw them again, was in my late teens, early twenties. By then it felt too late to have any sort of relationship and I haven't seen them in years.

Child protective services oversaw the adoption procedure, but more than a home study was not done, no counseling, no adoption training. The latter is mandatory nowadays, btw.

Meeting biological parents

I'm in the process now of digging through the NC Birth Index to find out who my parents are. My adoption was back in 1965 (September)and I would like to meet my birthparents if possible. Of course I'd be nervous but meeting people and talking to them about personal things is what I do for a living so that may make it easier.
I have absolutely no problem with my birthmother/birthfather's decision about placing me for adoption and I thank them for having the courage to do that instead of
doing what kids do now -- babies raising babies.  That is my message to my birthfamily --- I am not angry at all -- just curious!!

What I DO have a problem with is the "system" thinking they had the right to alter birthdates and black out our names from the birth indeces -- I plan to get in touch with Raleigh next week and demand they tell me my birthdate for sure and the county I was born in -- I can do the rest myself.

Too late


Well both mine died before I thought much about finding anyone, so no category to vote for there

I do feel lucky to have been able to find and talk to siblings, my mother "relinquished" 7 of us to different substitute parents then went on to have another 4

Two siblings had died one in childhood

I would have liked to sidle up to my father in bar and tackled him on the subject of paternity but he died when he was the age I am now

I suppose if our mother had been alive I would have met her eventually because the others wanted to, but I wanted to find brothers and sisters first, not something that the agencies that had been involved were very happy about

One "therapist" thought the whole story was so complicated that parts of it must be a fantasy

In the end I do think searching was the right thing to do, for me. I still am searching for my father's other family, not sure that I feel so comfortable with doing that, total lack of cooperation from Barnardo's on that one



Too late indeed

Hi Robin,

What is it you found, meeting your siblings? I am really curious, cause for me it didn't do much.

I have to say, being adopted within my own family has its own complicated loyalty issues. I have a brother and a sister, respectively 10 and 5 years older. Until the age of six I met my brother and my natural father every now and then, but my natural father found it too confronting to see me and didn't like my adoptive parents (his sister and brother-in-law) showing off how well they were doing with me, so he cut off all contact.

Until the age of eighteen I didn't see my natural parents, nor my siblings. When I finally met my brother again, it was really tense. I was having all sorts of issues with my adoptive parents, while he had very fond memories of them. As a child he had spent many a holiday with my parents and recalled those summers as the best of his early life.

I can understand that. My adoptive parents are very good at being aunt and uncle. Many of my cousins have spent weeks at my adoptive parent's and I know they are cool with kids as long as they don't call them theirs. So meeting my brother I had hoped to find someone who would be on my side, only to find him on theirs.

Shortly after meeting my brother I met my natural father and... nothing... He showed not the slightest interest in me and didn't in any way make an effort to make a connection. I've seen him on occasion through-out the years, at the funeral of my grand parents (his father and mother), at the funeral of my adoptive father and I will probably see him on some of the funerals to come. I don't expect us to ever discuss the fact he is my natural father. It is something he is incapable of seeing or acknowledging.

Some ten years ago I met my sister for the first and last time at the funeral of my grand-mother. We drank a cup of coffee together and had a conversation for about two hours and though pleasant, we never saw one another ever again. For me it felt like meeting a nice person, but not more than that. The years that had seperated us had done its work. It was too late to pick up the past and make it into a future.

Little Expectations

Hi Niels

I think the most important thing I found were people who to some extent have had experiences in common with me and had them for the same reason, but who also of course had very different lives

Having spoken to a few people recently about step parent and in-family adoption (my eldest brother was adopted by maternal grand parents) I'm starting to feel it's not necessarily always a better option than any other kind of adoption particular when there is still a lot of playing 'let's pretend'

I didn't have a lot emotional investment in finding my siblings, by that time emotional investment was something I'd given up doing

There are a lot of things that it's better to know than not to know, at least that's how I feel it is for me and it seems to have been the same for the others. I never ever expected the big, brother to sibling relationships that we would have had if we'd grown up together. I didn't always have a great model for that anyway, although my adopted dad got on ok with a couple of his sisters, I remember a time when for 15 years or more he only spoke to his brother once a year come time to collect the rent for some land that he leased him

Anyway, it's good find that we have kind of slotted together as a family and most see each other once a year or more at family events but I don't feel the emotional ties will ever be the same as family raised together can have. It's difficult with the German part of the family because distance and language but at least even there we have some e-mail IM contact occasionally

I don't have or expect to have anything like that with my father's kids from his later marriage though I know where they are and have said hello to a half sister on that side who has been able to tell me a little his family from a previous marriage before his affair with my and M's mother. I'm not sure what I can do or expect to get out of that search. Again it's matter of better to know than not to know and live with a fantasy that is wrong

I was lucky in being able to find out about my father who had the third most common family name in the English speaking world. But not many adoptees will have been told throughout childhood that their father's occupation was 'Wall of Death Motorcyclist"  made it a little easier that I found and confirmed it was the right one (though already dead)

I do find it appalling that Barnardos (my adoption agency) didn't think it necessary to tell me anything about his having had an earlier family, which of course they obviously knew

I suppose to people in the USA where it's difficult to even get your own birth records, that might sound as though I'm carping a little

All in all, when I started out on this search, I didn't expect to find much happiness from it, having heard many other peoples stories of their searches that have not turned out well, I feel I am very lucky. Be at the end of support line as am, I do sometimes have to be careful not to give others a false optimism

I hope that explains a little, it's not ever easy though, I do think people should go in to search and reunion with no expectations



Feeding on what we're allowed to read

Perhaps what got me started and stopped on my search for blood-relations, and subsequent quest to research the medical aspects of adoption was the very little truth told to and shared with the one person in need of the information most: the adoptee.

This is not known to the average reader.  It's only know to the person who dares to open the envelope, so to speak, and ask, "What's the real story behind my placement?  Who are my parents, and why was I never reunited with them? Do I have siblings?  Do I have family that was kept from me?"

These are things adoptees question, naturally, all the time.  How could we not?  Our need for in-depth personal information has never been respected by the authorities who have placed us, and the long-term result is hurting future generations.  We, the adult children of the Closed Era of Adoption are proving this in various different ways, yet it goes ignored, because people fail to see the connection between the truth, and hiding and lying about the truth, as it really exists.

What's amazing to me is the sheer number of people discovering the secrets and lies.  It's not just one or two people with sad stories, as it was a few years ago when I first started discussing child abuse among adoptees in their adoptive homes.  There are more and more cases of discovery coming out, and they are not limited to America.  I believe that deserves further investigation, but who dares to look into the meaning of that?  Why would so many private agencies lie about a parent's well-being, or a child's placement?


Why indeed?

I wrote this about a year ago

To a lot of people, they [Barnardo's] already look like weasels and worse.


Mr Roger Singleton (Barnardo's) to the Health Committee on 1 June 1998, re Child Migration to Australia and Canada

"On the insurance matter, we are acting on legal advice. You will be familiar with the fact that risks are insured. The present position of our insurers is ultra cautious, to put it mildly, on anything which would remotely resemble making a public apology, and I do not think we need to dwell on speculating why that is so. We have taken legal advice on the position of our insurers and the legal advice to Barnardo's and its trustees is that we should continue to be cautious although we are continuing to press our insurers to try and ease their attitude where it is absolutely clear that by the standards of the time a particular migrant had a rough and difficult time. We want actually to be able to formally say sorry on behalf of the organisation. The only resources that the organisation would have to be able to meet, for example, any compensation claims which flow from that would be in relation to money donated for today's work and that does mean that the trustees have to take very careful account of the legal advice they receive."

<end quote>

No other child care organisation's insurers were so insistent or [have] taken quite such heed of [their insurers], my opinion is that Singleton and his colleagues were more concerned about the effect of bad publicity, but insurance seemed like a damn good excuse.

<quoting previous in thread>

> And they will know that. This will cost them heartburn, substantial legal > fees, and just possibly some usable information.

<end quote>

Barnardo's seem quite happy to spend large amounts of their beneficiaries contributions on lawyers' fees, rather than to negotiate a compromise over access to the outstanding part of the file. The attitude here seems to be that adopted people have very little right to know about their patrilineal family particularly those of it who were also born outside of marriage. Barnardo's is in many [ways]  trapped in the 1950s in its thinking on these issues.

I don't think much has changed here, since then. Time I had another go I guess



"Why are you so angry?"

I get asked that a lot by people.  "Why do you get so angry all the time?"

I get angry because people hide the truth and lie about the importance of certain details like the orgins of things, and how they would affect me.  I definitely see this as an adoption issue, but few outsiders would recognize this, unless they too were adopted, and lied to!

Until the general public realizes just how many people have been "touched by adoption" (hold me while I puke) , few will understand what triggers the emotions that send us screaming into the bars begging for double shots of anything just to keep the frigging madness away.

I used to be happy in my oblivious state of not knowing any details of my adoption until I learned how corrupt certain American adoption agencies operate.  It's a topic you can't discuss, because it's based on documents that were faked or forged by people who no longer work at agencies that no longer exist! 

It makes you wonder, how many of these places operate like good-guys and how many of these places pretend to look like they operate like good guys?

I searched for 22 years for

I searched for 22 years for my family and found them 2 years ago. The day they turned up at my door was the day I found out that every single thing I had ever been told had been lies. It's a long and complicated story and I'm still trying to get my ahead around it all. At least I know who I am now though.


Is it really possible to go into reunion with no expectations? Isn't there always the expectation of likeness? Would there be a point in searching when there are no expectations.

When I met my father I didn't know what I was going to face, expected for some early child hood memories and stories that had been told. Still there was disappointment when I finally met him. Same is true about meeting my brother. It's not a devastating disappointment, but more a certain sadness there is no way to share at least the little past we have.

Pound Pup Legacy