Internet research anyone?

vickijMay 4, 2012

I am not an expert in internet research and could use some help. I am fairly certain that the information that I am seeking should be available to the public but I just can't find my answers. It may be that I don't have enough information to do the search correctly. If there is anyone on this board who is really good at research, I would certainly appreciate your help. I would be willing to compensate if I can get the info that I need. I don't want to discuss all of the details on this board but would share with someone who might be able to help me.

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I spend a great deal of time searching the internet trying to reunite adoptees with their birth have some pretty good skills and would be willing to try to help you. you can email me privately at tubas3646 at mypacks dot net

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 1:49PM
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I sent you an email offer of assistance also.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 10:12PM
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I sent you email.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 2:21PM
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You are doing a wonderful service. Tried for years to find my birth father. The last name was so common, the search was exhausting. One day I came across his birth city, which was a very small town, but it had online access to their library and a forum. Of all things, they had a group of volunteers that would do searches. Everyone was on a CC: list and it was like a challenge to them going on this trip to help me. In one day they found my oldest sister who called me immediately. She doesn't use a computer and is a bit difficult to call/write. My birth was a secret and she didn't want to let others know at this time, her mother is terminally ill. But she was so excited, my birth father had only told her about me and for years would wonder where I was. It is a huge family with 6 girls and a boy, plus dozens of other relatives.

Search angels cannot be thanked enough or repaid for their value. I'm sure you know how valued you are and hope all who benefit respond in great appreciation.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 8:27AM
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Thanks, Emagineer - it is really gratifying, not only to bring people who belong together back together but somehow defying the govt that thinks it should "protect" adults from knowing their origins and identities...but I guess that's a whole other topic.

Glad you found your family!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 2:07PM
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Oly, I wonder if you might be willing to share a bit more here about how you go about reuniting adoptees/birth parents? A dear friend is adopted and just within the past couple of weeks had some contact with the agency (actually a "home") that handled her adoption. She told me she wasn't really expecting any information, but I could tell she was still pretty devastated when the caseworker she'd contacted there said there was "no match" on file for her. So she's still left clueless as to where she came from. This lack of knowledge seems to weigh heavily on her on several different levels. I really think she'd be a much more confident person if she only had some answers. I would love to help her myself, but would have no idea what to do. It's my understanding that the search process can be costly, and she can't afford such a thing right now. Anyway, I would be very interested if you could share anything here about what you do. I'm intrigued.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 4:16PM
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Sorry for the hijack vickij...I can start a new thread if this is a topic others are interesed in.

SunnyCottage...tell her first to register at ISRR International Soundex Reunion Registry..she'll have to send for a form and send it in. Then she should request her non-identifying information from the agency that handled her adoption. When they said there was no "match" for her did they mean they couldn't find any file for her, or that there was no one searching for her so she couldn't get matched up with her parents? There might be a state file also...There might be a copying fee for her non-id but it might include the ages of her parents, some circumstances of her relinquishment, heritage info, etc.

She shouldn't spend a penny to search; there is a huge network of search angels who do it for free. I'm a novice compared to some, but still have found a number of people/families. She can join a number of Yahoo groups- maybe start with ""(theregistry' is a moderated co-support list for searching adult adoptees, birth family members and volunteer searchers involved in ADULT adoptee searches). And also a new website called ISRRXchange, which is all about reuniting and getting/giving help. Honestly, I've seen angels find folks in an afternoon with nothing but non-id info. My son found me 21 years ago without having my name, just his non-id and that was before all the online resources available. If you want to give her my email address it's tubas3646 at mypacks dot net -

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 5:14PM
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No need to apologize for the hijack. I love that we can all help each other.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 6:17PM
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Bless you, Oly. I appreciate your willingness to share so very much and will pass your words along to my friend. By "no match", I did mean that nobody was searching for her. As I said, I think she went into this not really expecting much of anything, but I also know it still had to have been defeating and painful to know that her birthparents had not initiated a search. Of course, I do understand that there are infinite reasons for this. Anyway, thank you so much for this info. Who knows? Maybe somebody out there is wanting to find her too. At the very least, she would give anything to know her biological heritage.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:46PM
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Sunny, Please know that not all reunions are a positive. My birth mother was a disaster. Also reunions are extremely emotional on a level we cannot understand alone. I have a wonderful gal who is a psychologist and works with adoptive parents and adoptees. Learn a great deal from her that goes far beyond what is known. So much more is understood now than from years ago. It is complicated regardless of the situation. On a personal note, I had this image of a mother I was looking for. It wasn't until years later that I realized I was looking for who I wanted to be.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:47PM
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Oly....yes, I'd love another thread. It would be interesting to read of other's experiences.

Sunny, hope I didn't sound flippant. Your wanting to help your friend is what friends are for and this is a wonderful gesture. I just blurted out a personal experience which wasn't meant to sound negative to you.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:54PM
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Emagineer, my sister could easily echo your words, but it was the baby given up for adoption who turned out to be someone with a different set of values. There's no way all reunions can be Oprah moments.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 8:17PM
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Oly, what do you do if the adoption happened in Washington DC? I hear they have a closed system that you can't break...


    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 9:44PM
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Upa, the search angels know their stuff. Mine was PA and OH. Same thing, these states won't do anything for you. But the search angels find ways to the path with little info. Facebook is becoming a wealth of info too, along with the adoption sites. The angels let nothing stop them. My contact with them included questions they asked me which I never considered and they made long distant phone calls to perfect strangers. The had access to local libraries which was a huge resource. So many things that I could not do on a personal level.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 7:39AM
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Emagineer, I completely understand and am so sorry that your reunion was not a pleasant one. Not being an adoptee myself, I can only just begin to try to understand the emotions involved. I know they run deep and are very, very complicated to say the least. My friend isn't necessarily hoping for a relationship with her birth parents (and understands there's a possibility that one or both are not even living anymore), but there are some genetic questions that she would really like to have some answers for - mostly because she is concerned about certain traits being passed on to her young son.

Oly, she told me in an email last night that the agency had everything in her folder, of course, but could not divulge any of the information to her. She said that she will explore the websites that you suggested, and that she may contact you via email as well. Thank you again for being so helpful.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:54AM
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My sister had a relatively successful reunion with her birth parents. I don't recall the details of her search but it was relatively easy for her. I think she contacted the agency and the agency had already been contacted by her birth father's family. She knew that she had an older biological (same mother and father) but that was about all she knew. In the end, she learned her father's identity first. They had their reunion at my parents' house, with my whole family there, as well as her birth father, his wife and their son as well as his mother. It turned out that my sister's paternal grandmother raised her bio sister but the birth mom was always resentful of that fact so when she got pregnant again with my sister, she refused to let the grandmother raise her. My sister was able to track down her birth mother and she did meet her as well as her birth mother's extended family. Her birth mother has had a very hard life with multiple marriages and several other children. I think my sister has only seen her once or twice. She has a fantastic relationship with her birth father and his very large extended family (he's one of like 8 kids). My parents were always very supportive of her finding her birth family. She initiated her search just before she was planning to have kids, mainly because she had several health issues and wanted to find out more about any medical issues. It has been a very rewarding experience for her and I'm thankful it worked out as I know these type of reunions aren't always positive.

A small world note - my family has a unique Italian last name. After my sister found her family, it turned out that one of her birth father's sisters worked at the same company as my brother's wife and they knew each other! And it's not like we live in a small area. We live in the Wash DC metro area but all spread out in the MD suburbs. My sister doesn't even live here - she's the only one who moved out of state, ironically. And funny, SIL only worked at that company for a few years but it just happened to coincide with when my sister found her birth father!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:58AM
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I hope to high heaven that no search angel ever finds my sister. I am the only one who knows, and she would be devastated to be found. She knew what she wanted to do when she did it, and has not regretted it for one minute since.

I am sad that there is such longing to find a parent, but there are also a lot of others raised by bio parents who would have been better off adopted. As for medical reasons to seek and find, they are rare enough.

I know that these finds are handled with great sensitivity by the search angels; I mean no criticism of you, oly. And I understand that each of us has different needs.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:06AM
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there is a new thread now called Adoption Research. Upa Lazy River, if you go there and see what I wrote, it will apply to every state (and DC) for trying to search. Most states have closed records, but angels still find people.

SunnyCottage, your friend's agency is probably wrong, depending on the state (I am not familiar with every state's laws) but in most states she is entitled to EVERYTHING in her file except identifying information, i.e. names and addresses, etc. All that should be redacted and she should have the rest. Maybe there are some states where that isn't true, but I'm not aware of them. If she asks for help on ISRRX or the Yahoo groups, they will know and can help her with letters, etc. to get what she is entitled to.

Shermann, your sister is in a very tiny minority of mothers who don't want to be contacted. Hopefully, someday, she will let go of the secrecy and shame and open her heart to her child, should her child initiate contact. If there are siblings involved (half or otherwise) that is often a bonus for those searching. It's hard for the mothers to disclose that to their children, but it often works out for the best, because those kinds of secrets can be toxic to people and in families. But your sister will certainly have a choice about what to do if contacted. There are few adoptees who just bulldoze into their mother's life. It is too emotional and painful and the risk of rejection is so devastating. Most want to be wanted.

I'm always sad to hear of difficult reunions, but just as there are millions of differences among people, there are the same number of differences in reunions. The vast majority I hear about are successful on some level, simply because the truth is known and I do believe that the truth will set you free. It likely won't be the fantasy that has been held by both parties, but the parents learn that the child is alive and what kind of life they had (and that's certainly a wide range of experience, too) and the adoptee learns about their first family and the reason for their adoption (also not always their fantasy). As hard as it can be sometimes, I hear few people say they wish they'd never done it (maybe during a rough patch in reunion, but not forever), that they are glad to have the info so they can move forward in their lives.

Let's move this to the new thread, okay?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 12:15PM
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One of the slickest ways they find names are via birth announcements because they used to get them from the hospital; whether the mother was keeping the child or not. This is assuming they know what hospital they were born at & the correct date. I think there's an article about it on one of the adoption FB pages explaining how to weed it out.

I was in my 30's when I learned the big secret that my "mother" gave a son away. I just happened to find the info (hospital bracelet; adoption receipt & photos) in a living room table. Back then; they took the baby home until a home was found; she named him & had him Christened & by the time they removed him; she did not want to give him up but had to. Enter me; child #3 who resembles him; my life was always pretty bad & I never understood until I found out about him. I learned this 10+ years after I had my son; who looks like me & since I was a young; single mother; living back with my parents; I think she saw it as her son that she'd given up 35+ years before. She slipped a few times by telling me to leave & to leave "her" son. Add another 10 years & we found him; plus I found out another secret & IMO; I should have been the one (or another one) that was put up for adoption. Keeping me was a huge mistake because I was treated like I didn't belong but thank God for DNA tests; I actually did belong. I wish I could find her affair so I could tell him he doesn't have a daughter out there. My 1/2 brother had a very good life & did the search because he wanted to thank her for giving him to a great family; not thinking he would have a match

I know of someone that gave a child up & they do not want to be found. I pray that the adoptee does find them because they regret not having more kids. I hope that they change their minds one day.

Most people that I know that gave their kids up for adoption was because they were forced to. I know the PC term is placed; but back then; they really weren't given an option.. some were minors or unwed mothers that very much did want their child but were forced to. Others had to because they could barely survive to support the kid(s) they had & did so to give all of the children a better chance at life. I do not know anyone that was raped & understand why some people do not want to be found because that is a wound that doesn't need to be opened.

I am for adoptees having access to their information but feel that in certain cases; the info should not be allowed to be given out.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 5:38PM
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roselvr, I'm going to link this to the adoption research thread. I agree with everything you say here and would like to get all this stuff over to the other thread so it's all in one place.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 6:59PM
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ISRRxchange - What is the ISRRxchange?

ISRR Xchange main page where the message board is that you need an invitation to join

Documents sheets - SAMPLE Petition for Access to Adoption Records & Non-Identifying Information Guidelines & Booklist

Military archives just found the site & figured I'd post it here

I found a facebook people search site today; the fact sheet below is via this page; so please; if you save the information; give the gal a break & thank her by liking the page as she does not have a fan base. It's small sites like these that will get you results IMO

People Searching

Read first: When filing out the Fact Sheet, please fill out the form with as much information as you can. If it asks a date that is exactly unknown, narrow down our searching field by listing a possible range. Give assumptions if necessary, but please mark assumptions with quotations (Rick "Richard" Daniels). If you are giving a more detailed assumption please explain it on the form-for example (Place of Birth: "Oklahoma"- because he always referred to himself as an 'ole okie). All names, nicknames, akas, street names are wanted. Please put in BOLD TYPE the facts that you are absolutely positive about (not necessarily what they directly told you) For example (because you saw the birth certificate you could put on Place of birth: ARKANSAS). On all fields, if you know any information that you know is old and no longer good- please list it on the form. If there are names listed that you are unsure of spelling, mark with a *.

Fact Sheet:

Part 1: Basics
Name/ AKAs:
Place of birth:
Date of birth:
Place of known residences:
Place of death:
Date of death:
Driver's License #/state:
Social security #:
Phone numbers:
Military Service:
High school:
Criminal History:
Any ties to the community/church:

Part 2: Physical Description
Photos available?
Weight: (and approx. when)
Hair: (color, texture, style, length)
Eyes: (color, glasses, contacts, colored- contacts)
Body Type:
Health History:
Mental History:

Part 3: Family and Associates
List any information known about any family members or associates, use part one and two as a list, and include;
How they met:
Was there any specific quarrels between them:
Any correspondence (old letters or emails):
Any additional information:

Part 4: Client (your information)
Relationship to subject:
Information requested: For example-location, contact information, etc
Photo available?
Date of last contact:
Previously searched methods:
Additional information:

Here is a link that might be useful: Adoption Research discussion post

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:43PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I haven't read all the posts so please excuse anything I say that is out of sync.

10 years ago, my then sil found my birth mother. I was adopted out as a four week old baby to a wonderful family, my parents. Catholic nuns took care of me from birth until the adoption.

I'm glad my sil went to all that work, and it was a ton of work, I think she did it because my mother had passed away from a horrible degenerating disease and she wanted me to now find my "real" mother. And we talked on the phone, but it wasn't a great experience.

My birth mother was deeply hurt that her secret had been exposed- my sil found her brother first and went through him to find the birth mother- and they were all Pennsylvania Dutch and that was a serious scandal in 1964, so our conversation was stilted at best.

I felt secretly disappointed that she wasn't a rich movie star (!!) and was a nanny. She married not long after having me and had two boys ( my half brothers). Her husband died in the eighties, I think.

She did send me some pictures of herself when she was young but nothing after the age of maybe 30 at the latest.
My biological father was married and worked as an engineer at the Huntsville Rocket plant. She did not know what became of him.

Overall, I was happy to find out a medical history -nothing, thankfully- but a little disappointed that she seemed so angry and not at all happy to hear from me. We have not been in contact since.But I have not moved or changed my phone number. I could try and contact her, but I never thought of her as my mother, ever.
I suppose it would be interesting to have some kind of contact with my half brothers.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:47PM
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I give up trying to get this discussion to the adoption post :-)

Great info roselvr. You should be a search angel!

Bumblebeez, I'm sorry your experience of reunion wasn't better. I think the shame heaped upon women in those days was very difficult to overcome, even years later. Funny, the fathers were not seen as "bad." But birthmothers were filled with shame about becoming pregnant, then filled with shame for giving away their own flesh and blood. The messages from society were both, so we were dam*ed if we did, or didn't. Told it was the best thing for our child, but if it was so great, why couldn't we ever speak of it again?

I wish your birthmom would have tried to reach out to others in the same situation. It might have really helped her and in the end helped with a relationship with you. I wonder if she ever told her sons?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 1:10AM
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Sherman and Bumblebeez, my DS is adopted and was one day old when we brought him home from the hospital. His birthmom would be devastated if we tried to locate her and I would never do that to her. Catholic Charities has our information, and if she, or my DS, wants to, then, Catholic Charities will notify her, or my husband and I. But, I would never out of the blue, just contact a birth parent. I have seen what it did to my adopted cousin, and it ruined all relationships involved.

There probably are very few happy endings, and there are much worse things in life than to not find out who your bio-parents are. I do not know my bio dad, and could care less. If this becomes an issue with my DS, then I will support him, but, will NOT let him devastate his birthmother's life, if that is the case. She did this with full confidence that we would not do that to her. If she has a change of heart, then she will contact Catholic Charities, and they will ask us, but, only if she asks, would we participate.

I would just ask to those in search, to tread lightly, and don't push, if you find your bios.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 9:37AM
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I think the shame heaped upon women in those days was very difficult to overcome, even years later.

A perfect example would be my own family. My sister was date raped in the early 60s and sent away to a home for unwed mothers in FL near her father and stepmother. My own mother never communicated with my sister while she was pregnant. It took a long time for my sister to forgive her for that.

No one in our family, except my mother, knew about the pregnancy. I'm not even sure my father knew. The baby girl was put up for adoption. Fast forward 36 years and the girl/woman mounted a search for her birth mother. My sister could have declined the contact, but I think she felt she owed "R" that much. I met her first since it turned out she lived nearby. Eventually my mom and sister met her too. My mom never revealed "the secret" to anyone else even after meeting "R". I don't know if it was shame or pure ignorance.

I broke all ties with "R" after the first year. My sister has minimal contact with her.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 10:10AM
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Oly; sorry to add to it but doesn't seem like everyone is going to the other post lol

I do help at times; was at one board working on a guy who lost his memory. I have so many things going that I don't have the time to devote to searching; plus there are many others that are very good at it. If I was needed; I'd dabble more. If someone is stuck; I will help; but usually leave it to the pro's.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:47AM
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Olliesmom, you sound very sensitive to the issues. I don't know how old your son is, but you really can't predict what he may feel or want to do as an adult. And it will be out of your hands, should he decide to search for her. And no one can predict after so many years that the bmom might not be thrilled to be found; life changes.

I don't think that any of us who have no biological ties (you had your mother) can understand how it feels to not be connected in that way to other people, regardless of how much we are loved by our adoptive families. And after having done adoption reform work for 2 decades, participated in numerous support and therapy groups that involved adult adoptees, it seems that few adoptees will ever share with their adoptive parents (or anyone else, for that matter) what's really going on inside of them around the issues. Some won't even look at how they feel. Most don't want to hurt anyone's feelings and that's a good reason many don't search until their adoptive parents have died.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 12:07PM
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Olychick, I totally agree with your last paragraph. My sister was fortunate that my parents were always very supportive of her search. She was in a unique situation in that she is biracial and was raised in a "white" home. While she was always loved and supported by my family, she did go through a rough time in high school where she had a hard time fitting in - the black girls didn't think she was black enough and felt like she was shunning her black heritage. The white girls were much more accepting but it was very difficult for her and something that my parents, my brother and I could not relate to. She always wanted to know why she was given up (she had a full blooded older sister too and knew her bio parents were unmarried), but it wasn't until she was ready to become a mother herself that she really began her search, prompted by wanting to know her medical history.

While I know that there are bio parents out there who do not want to be found, I think they also have to understand that this was a choice THEY made, not a choice the child made. So while some might think it unfair to look up birth parents, by the same token, it's hard to put oneself in the place of an adopted child who wants to know where he/she came from and has grown up with all those nagging questions. It's a difficult situation all around.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 12:34PM
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olychick, my DS is only 9, and I certainly would support him, and know he might, want to meet his birthparents, but ONLY if they want too. You can't force people to want to have a relationship with you, and I will sure let him know that, if it ever happens. I have no problem with him meeting them, when he gets older, as, I know they come from good families. Birthmom had a future in the medical field and a child from a summer affair was not in her plan. So, if my DS wants to meet her or his birthdad, I don't think they would cause a lot of problems, just from what we know about them, they are stable people.

I guess I just don't like to pry in others' lives, and cause any problems, for something I selfishly want. My cousin just seemed nosy and hellbent on finding his birthmom and didn't care what it did to others. Sometimes that is just how life is, and we have to except it, and appreciate what you are given.

I also don't understand why the birthdad isn't just as important as the birthmom. Most talk is of finding birthmoms. My DS and my husband are SO close and do just about everything together, almost as if I don't exist sometimes-LOL!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:23AM
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Olliesmom, I just was trying to say that once your son is an adult he'll make up his own mind about what he wants to do...often adoptees seek without even telling their afamily, since it is such a private journey for them. Parents (adoptive or otherwise) don't have a say about what their adult children do.

There are lots of theories about the draw to birthmom (it's primal), but it's likely the symbiotic relationship in utero, the sounds, the sharing of body, the familiarity, etc. There is a great book called Birth Bond worth reading, I think, about the connection to mother.

It really makes me wonder what's being done to the human psyche of those conceived with all the surrogacy, donated eggs, etc. Another social experiment that we won't know the consequences of for a generation.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:51AM
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Olliesmom I also don't understand why the birthdad isn't just as important as the birthmom. Most talk is of finding birthmoms. My DS and my husband are SO close and do just about everything together, almost as if I don't exist sometimes-LOL!

A lot of times; the birth dad is forgotten as was the case of my 1/2 brother. I'll have to look; not sure if I have his birth certificate but I don't recall the father being listed on anything & from memory; she didn't even remember his name; just certain features about him. When she saw her son; she was surprised he didn't get any of his fathers features.

In other cases; birth mothers will list the birth father as unknown so that they don't have to contact anyone to relinquish rights. I do not agree with this by the way.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 1:14PM
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I don't like the idea of research that hunts down unsuspecting people. I suppose it's human nature to want to know more about yourself, but I think that this often can lead to trouble. Bombshell revelations are best saved for TV. The baby that was adopted out from my family would be in their 60s - so any research would disturb some very elderly people.

I think it would be great if there were easier ways for people to reunite, but only if both parties are willing.

It would be heartbreaking to give up a baby, but I think usually there is a good reason (or one that seemed good at the time). Minors may wish to keep their baby, but then their parents end up with the responsibility. Is that fair?

I think adoption should be more celebrated. I saw a little kid with a great t-shirt that read "Superman was Adopted". It can be quite an ordeal to adopt a child! I am the seventh child of devout Catholics. My arrival was accepted, but not celebrated in any way. I always wondered if my life would be different if I had been part of a different family. We all wonder about "who we are".

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 1:50PM
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Maureen there was recently a news story about an adoptee in her late 70's or early 80's who found her birthmother who was nearly 100. And the mother was happy to meet her child, who was conceived by rape. So just because someone is elderly doesn't mean they might not want to know what became of their child.

I think lots of us have fantasies of the "what if I'd have had a different family" but I think that is completely different than the reality adoptees live with of truly not knowing where they came from. Hopefully the move to open adoptions will be helpful in that regard.

I think wonderful people can adopt, but I long for a world where every woman who wants to keep her child will receive the help she needs to get through whatever it is that prevents her from parenting her child..whether it's simply being too young (she won't be too young forever) or too poor (with what it costs to adopt, a woman and child could live pretty well for a while) or has an unfortunate life that limits her options (let's provide some support and help). A child belongs with her mother/family. Giving up your baby can be a permanent solution that you quickly regret, to a temporary tough situation. If you have children, then just try to imagine him/her being raised by others. It's hard to imagine until you've been there.

Here is a link that might be useful: 100 year old birthmother

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 7:42PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Maureen, I feel the same way. My sil was the one who found my birth mother and I really did not know she was putting so much energy/time into it. Sil found the mother's brother and went through him. If I had known the grief it would cause my birth mother, I would have prevented it from happening.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:06PM
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