Thanks to Reader Kippa for this link to Today's Wisconsin Woman where I found this: "According to the Wisconsin DCF, “Identity and location of birth parent(s) will not be disclosed unless an affidavit of consent has been signed by birth parent(s). If a court has legally determined paternity, or the father’s name appears on the impounded birth certificate, (italics, mine) affidavits usually will be needed from both birth parents.”
That may explain how the Adoption Search and Reunion team in Madison come up with that disappointing 50 percent reunion rate--the fathers are not agreeing. And my guess is that though Ms. Boldebuck and her team are sympathetic to the adopted person, it may well be beyond their legal purview, as well as how they see their jobs, to encourage the reluctant mothers and fathers to meet the adoptee.
Breaks my heart, this does. Everyone needs to remember that the adopted person never asked to be born, or adopted, and they should have the right of refusal, I guess, but writing that also breaks me heart. I don't know how I could have accepted my daughter not wanting to meet me. It would have been totally devastating, as it surely must be to adoptees who confront this personal tragedy. And I must add, that though my late daughter Jane professed not to want to be reminded of the daughter she gave up, whom she named Lisa, we found a baby picture of Lisa taped to the pull-out shelf on her desk--ya know, that thingie that used to be for typewriters. Kim, her daughter, found it when I was there a few days after her suicide, and Kim was surprised...but at least she knew who the baby was. Given that she kept the baby picture near her, I believe Jane would not have rejected meeting her.
I did hear from one search angel and confidential intermediary (who happens to be a birth mother) and said that in the thousand or so reunions she facilitated, only two led to rejections, and that was when the adoptive families were so eager to make contact they made the calls. Which is, to say the least, kind of freakin' nuts. But then, so is this whole anonymity-secrecy business.
I do hope that Ms. Boldebuck responds to my query. That number is just too high and out of kilter with what we know from other sources. In Oregon, the number of "no contact" preferences still stands at 84, while more than 9500 original birth certificates have been requested.
Incidentally, those I have heard from who went through Ms. Boldebuck have only good things to say about the experience, and she certainly was sensitive and prompt to my request that my name be on file for my granddaughter who was adopted in 1986. (Birth date, April 3rd, I think, in case, Lisa, you are reading this.)
Stay tuned. I hope to have the search angel write a blog for FirstmotherForum.--lorraine