' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum

Friday, May 18, 2018

Queensland man believes his parents are Charles and Camilla

Along with the rest of the English-speaking world, let us now visit the British royal family while the Prince Harry/Megan Markle wedding is tomorrow. Not only are there stories in the gossip magazines about who Harry's real father is--not Charles, but someone who has been close to Harry most of his life, and especially since Diana died. Former Welsh guard, Mark Dyer, took on many fatherly duties to Harry over the years. Photos of young Harry and Dyer show them together at sporting events; Harry was himself a groomsman in Dyer's wedding. Harry apparently introduced Megan to Dyer soon after the engagement, and Dyer most definitely will be a guest at the wedding.  I think they look enough alike to believe it--beyond their shared red hair--as Harry really doesn't resemble Charles in any way. And we all know that Charles and Diana's marriage was rotten from the start. You never saw pictures of them being touchy-feely, the way Harry and Megan are. I love that Megan is divorced and biracial and American. Enough of that.

The story that has fascinated me as a first mother much more is that of Simon Charles Dorante-Day, an Australian man who was born in Portsmouth, England (in a hospital that did not normally do births), on April 5, 1966. He was adopted at 18 months by a couple who parents were servants in one of their royal households. The couple moved to Australia, and mysteriously had plenty of money. He looks very much like a son of Charles and Camilla; one of his daughters resembles the Queen. Not only does he look like Charles, he also resembles a brother of Camilla--someone who would be his uncle.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Notice to adoptive parents: Your child is not a gift

I hoped I could go one Mother's Day without reading a piece by an adoptive mother expressing her gratitude to her adopted child's first mother for "the precious gift you gave me" and also insisting that giving up a child is a brave and loving act. No such luck. There it was on the first page of the Portland Oregonian's Opinion section "A message to my daughter's birth mother" by Ann Grimmer of Boring (that is the actual name of the town outside of Portland), Oregon.

The characterization of children as gifts given freely to deserving strangers is just nonsense. Children are not baubles to be passed around. It's wishful thinking on Grimmer’s part when she writes that the birth mother “made the decision that she [the daughter] was better off without you, better off with me, thousands of miles away.” If Grimmer had read even one book by an intercountry adoptee or an inquiring journalist, she would have known it is unlikely that the surrender was a voluntary, thoughtful decision.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Is Mother's Day the worst day of the year for both birth mothers and the adopted?

Here it comes again, Mother's Day, impossible to delete from the calendar or ignore totally because of the incessant ads that pop up everywhere, from the internet to the newspaper to the super bargains on the Today show that are just "perfect for mom." All if it reminds us of our own fractured motherhood. I've been through the gamut of emotions about Mother's Day, beginning when I did not know where my daughter was (call it a nightmare), and my own mother did not even know my daughter existed (no one to share the blues with), to those years after reunion when I tried to ignore the hoopla the week preceding the big day hoping she would remember me in some small way, but alas, she often did not. (A good day to dig in the garden.)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

What if our son's birth mother wants a relationship with him--but not us? Why mothers should be leery of 'open adoption' contracts

Lorraine and daughter, Jane, 1982
In a sign of the times, The New York Times ethics columnist Kwame Anthony Appiah is tackling adoption again, after a recent debacle in a column a few months ago.

This time, the subject is exactly what the first part of the headline reads, for that is the headline in the New York Times Magazine over his column as The Ethicist. The kicker in this adoption story is that the son in question is "about 25" and the contract was a deal which stated that the adoptive parents could somehow can control the adopted person's relationship with his natural mother up until he was 25. The contract stated that he could search--with the adoptive parents' permission--for his birth parents (mother and father) after he was 18, but not search for them without their permission until he was 25.

Clearly this was a so-called "open adoption" contract that relied completely on the agency staying in business, and that fire or flood or other natural disaster did not destroy any records that connected Mother A with Son B. The letter writer goes on to say that the birth mother somehow found the family's home address (quelle horreur!), wrote them and asked to open up the adoption further.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Arizona law forces parenthood on the unwilling

Three-day-old embryo--8 cells in toto, 
barely visible to the naked eye. At
implantation (between 5-8 days), an 
embryo is approximately one-
hundredth of an inch long.
A bill signed by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on April 3 requires that frozen embryos go to the party who wants "to develop them" in the event of a dispute. In other words, the non-consenting partner is forced to become a parent, sort of. The law  provides that the unwilling parent would have no parental responsibilities and would not have to pay child support.

The bill was supported the Center for Arizona Policy, part of the anti-abortion Family Research Council. To tell the truth, the anti-abortion people drive me nuts. They love babies (or embryos) until they're born. Then it's "tough luck, parents" if they need some help raising the kids. Arizona won't even pay teachers and support staff a living wage--they rank 47 out of 59 in teachers' pay--and they are staged a one-day strike today.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Dear Mom~A wonderful, uplifting, emotional conference in Indy put on by Indiana Adoptee Network! Kudos to all!

From left; Jennifer Fahlsing, Suzanne Bachner, Lorraine Dusky
and Marcie Keithley at the IAN 2018 conference in Indianapolis,
Racing to Records, The Final Lap
Dear Mom~

Just back from a  conference in Indianapolis organized by the Indiana Adoptee Network where I talked about you in the keynote speech. I told everyone how understanding you were when I told you about Jane in 1974, six years after she was born. I can still see us in the restaurant--you picked the place--on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn. We ordered drinks and lunch and between the drinks and the time the food came I told you that I'd had a child and given her up for adoption and furthermore, I was going to be public about it. It was time somebody had to be public, and that was going to be me.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Facebook allows me to connect with my adoption tribe--mothers and adoptees, and some adoptive parents too

Corrected image--thanks to Facebook
Should I stay or go on Facebook has been on my mind recently as the revelations about the lack of privacy and the shared information about me that is whirling about the world. I run ads here and I see immediately ads for products that I looked up mere seconds earlier.

But to leave Facebook? Never. For people like us, with a particular tragedy in our lives that likely does not resonate with our neighbor, the connections Facebook provides have been an emotional lifeline. First mother or adoptee--and some adoptive mothers--we share an involvement in a life-changing experience, one that set us apart from the rest of humanity. We need each other. We gain from this ease of communication.

This morning I connected with a woman who found her biological father's family (he is deceased) and they all share a love of animals, in particular, dogs. As I do.  She happens not to live far from me, we met at a reading I gave at the local library, and she came back to my house for tea; but our connection this morning almost certainly would not have happened if not via Facebook.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

CT's Judiciary Committee passes open access bill for all adoptees; a good start but still a way to go

Just sent this off to the legislators in New York who support releasing sealed birth records: 

Dear Men of Good Will and Understanding Hearts: 

Connecticut's Judiciary Committee yesterday (4/4) passed a bill that will give all adoptees in the state access to their original birth certificates. The vote was 24-16, one absent. CT  has a crazy quilt of various laws that opened the records for some, kept older adoptees in the dark (supposedly protecting natural mothers like me). The purpose of this bill is to clean up the holes in the previous legislation which created a dual class of citizenship. The goal is of course to give all individuals the right to know their original heritage. 

NY continues to lag in this regard, as you all well know. Now nine states (Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas [never sealed], Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island) have unrestricted access to original birth records for all citizens, and another 20 have some sort of legislation that gives some adoptees some right to know who they were at birth. 

The sky has not fallen in any of these states, suicides have not gone up, abortions do not rise, life has gone on. New York is one of the backward states sitting on the wrong side of history, despite what I know are herculean efforts on your part to change that. 

When can we convince legislators to empathize with the adopted individual and not the man or woman who is a parent in the closet? Because that is the real problem. 

No one should be denied their ancestry because someone will be embarrassed. 

Lorraine Dusky
Relinquished a daughter in NY in 1966; reunited in 1981, grandmother of two. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

How adoption narratives encourage eternal separation of mother and child

Why do some reunions fail? Or never get started? So much has to do with how the adoptive parents have cleared the cobwebs away from the warm fuzzy feelings about adoption, and dealt with the idea of reunion as a positive that might occur someday. Others in the last two decades have participated in open adoptions, which began to be popularized slowly in the 1980s. My own daughter gave up a child in 1986, but even I could not convince her to have an open adoption. I believe it was because she was not strong enough to deal with the idea that by knowing who the parents were, she would still feel obligated to be involved. My daughter had a lot of physical and psychological issues due to her epilepsy, and I know she thought about suicide a great deal, so when she talked about her reasons later, I could understand. I'm getting off the track here because I wanted to dissect a piece about adoption that was forwarded to me today.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Why legislators balk when unsealing original birth certificates of the adopted

Access Connecticut is running into static with their bill that would fill a loophole of adoptees born before in that state born before October 1,1983. The problem? Legislators still "worried" about those birth mothers and families who will be put in a tizzy if mom's adopted-out child comes knocking. 

They are concerned that most of their testimony comes from adoptees. And secondly, from searching mothers who found their children. They need now to hear from found mothers and other found family members who were glad to reconnect with their blood kin who had been adopted out of the family. They want to hear from a siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles. I heard about this a few hours ago, and posted a call out on FMF's Facebook page and immediately found a few mothers who fit the bill, but--more is more, and more is better. So if you are a found mother, no matter where you reside--someone from Great Britain responded, and she's writing too--write and write immediately. Ask your family members if they will write a short note--two or three grafs is all it needs. Be succinct, and write from the heart. The bill is under the judiciary committee's microscope as I write, and so timing is of the essence. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Reconnecting with first mother after an emphatic shout: Don't Call Me Again!

What to do after a first mother gets an emphatic Get-Out-of-My-Life response from an adult child who was adopted, and then a decade later, hears that he is interested in communication, possibly a reunion?

Such a request for help came through FMF's Facebook page the other day, and  it's a story that is not unusual. I've heard from both adoptees who walked away abruptly and now, years later, wish to resume contact, and mothers who put aside any hope of contact to find that door opened. Now they are a tad dubious. If they say yes to reunion, will they be shut out again, and go through the same windfall of hurt emotions as before?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Write for Adoptee Rights! States considering legislation unsealing original birth certificates

It's that time of the year again when anyone who cares about giving the adopted the right to own their birth information to get to their keyboards and let legislators know your feelings! We've come a long way since all states but two had sealed up the original birth records of all adopted individuals, but there is still work to be done. 

Connecticut will have a public hearing tomorrow, March 9, 2018, on a bill that takes care of the adoptees in that state born before October 1,1983. Since 2014 adoptees born after that date had the right to their original birth certificates, but not those unlucky enough to be born before, which covers thousands of individuals. You don't have to have a CT connection to adoption to make your voice heard! You don't have to be brilliant to write a note and let your feelings be known! Just do it! 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The new adoption narrative: 'I love you so much I gave you away'

Have you seen the video of the woman who gave up her son in march of 2016? The handover is that day, and she videos her infant son telling him that she is making the video so that one day he will watch it and know that she loves him. She is weeping the whole 9 minutes and 36 seconds of the video. It is hard to watch. 

I had to force myself to see it all the way through, as I stopped a couple of times at a minute or two, as it is repetitious and in the category of "I loved you so much I gave you away." In today's zeitgeist, making such a video is the logical expression of this 18-year-old's pain as she prepares to give him up. The woman, Hannah Mongie, now 20, is a Mormon in Utah--she mentions her boyfriend's mission--and so to simply say that in today's world she would not have endured the severity of the opprobrium of women of earlier generations like my own is not appropriate. I assume that Mormon women, if they do not marry the fathers, are encouraged to give up their babies rather than keep them. From what she says, it appears that the couple would have gotten married; nothing is said about her parents, or if they were involved in her decision.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Korean adoptees compete in their native country at Olympics; 'Seoul Sisters'--one adopted, one not--on opposing hockey teams

As soon as I heard that two sisters would be competing against each other on opposing hockey teams at the Olympics, my brain said: Adoption.

Yep. That's it. At least two of the naturalized Olympians among the 19 from various countries competing in PyeongChang for South Korea are adopted, and competing for the land of their birth.

Marissa Brandt, 25, was born in South Korea, adopted in 1992 by Greg and Robin Brandt, who had been trying to have children for a few years without success. They applied for adoption--Minnesota is Korean adoptionland central--and were eventually cleared for adoption and received a photograph of a child around the same time Robin discovered she was pregnant. As many couples do, they decided to move forward with the adoption anyway, and have, as they stated in an interview, "twins." Six months after Marissa arrived in the US, her younger sister Hannah was born.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

What if I Don’t Want to See the Child I Gave Up for Adoption?

What if I Don’t Want to See the Child I Gave Up for Adoption? screams a headline on the New York Times in the Ethics column on line that I assume will show up in Sunday's Times magazine of Jan. 28, 2018. 

The Ethicist is an advice column, just like Dear Amy, but gussied up with response by someone who has highfalutin credentials, in this case, Kwame Anthony Appiah, a London-born and Ghana-raised "renowned philosopher" who has a double appointment at New York University in both law and philosophy. Thus, he supposedly has the wisdom to pronounced reasonable, legal and philosophical answers to life's ethical conundrums. 

Name Withheld writes that many decades ago, she gave up her daughter in a private adoption, was told not to even note the name of the adoptive parents when she signed, and was "assured that my identity would likewise be kept secret." 

Since then she has married, had children, divorced and remarried. Her husband and children know about this child. She has spent her life in women's health care, and has "been privileged to participate in numerous private adoptions." (She does like adoption.)

Monday, January 22, 2018

First Mother's Truth Shines in her Obit

I was saddened to read about the death of a friend and fellow first mother, Jan Schmidt.  Her obituary in large print in the Salem (Ore) Statesman Journal included these words:

"Jan had a son, Thomas Gibbons, whom she gave up for adoption. This always weighed on her. Tom and Jan were reunited many years later on an amazing day with the whole family present."

I met Jan about 19 years ago when I was a newly reunited first mother living in Salem. A leader of a first mother group called and asked if I could give Jan a ride to their meeting in Portland, 50 miles away. Still in the angst of reunion, elated one minute, angry another, needing all the support I could get, I was happy to say "yes."

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Birth mother, first mother, biological mother, or relinquisher? Framing the language when we talk about adoption


It's an issue at First Mother Forum for even the name irritates some--adoptive parents and adoptees. Adoptive parents object because if we are the "first" parents, what does that make them? You can figure out the answer. It starts with "s." To many of them, we are birth parents, first, last, but most importantly, always. Anything else--save biological--seems to get up their dander but then, biological is still troublesome because it implies DNA, hereditary, ancestry, health history, etc. Biological goes on and on. Biology is real and forever. DNA coding cannot be rewritten.

You can see the irritation on Facebook with the angry comments that pop up on all sorts of pages--for adoptees, for adoptive parents, for all members of the triad--from writers who are angry that birth is replaced by first. Birth connotes a one-moment (hours, actually) in-time occurrence that has us in and out of the baby's life, who by law, becomes someone else's child. No matter what. I don't mean to smear all adoptive parents, because there are many who are accepting and generous in their attitude towards the child's true, biological mother and father and don't get rattled by the term, first mother.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

To Birth/First fathers: Come out, come out wherever you are, DNA may find you

Amy Dickinson
I was thrilled to read Amy Dickinson's advice to "Burdened," a man in his 70's who fathered a child -- a terrible mistake he said -- when he was 16 with his 16-year-old girl friend. He writes:
"Both sets of parents were supportive and arranged for my girlfriend to enroll in what was at that time referred to as an unwed-mother's home. At birth, the child was immediately placed for adoption and went to a loving home."
What jumped out is that the birth father writing here notes that the grandparents were supportive--but apparently that support included an immediate, no-questions-asked adoption plan.

Now some fifty years later, Burdened is fearful that the child may show up at his doorstep. While he shared this "sordid part of his history" with his wife, he never discussed it with anyone else. Searching for the child would be a fool's errand, he wrote. He's wondering if he should tell his children about their half-sibling.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Plea from adoptee to first mothers in the closet: Give us a chance

While the laws sealing the original birth records of adoptees continue to tumble but with caveats that supposedly "protect" first/birth mothers and fathers who wish to remain anonymous, another factor is at work making sealed records increasingly irrelevant.

Of course I'm talking about DNA testing. It doesn't lie. It finds people. It connects far-reaching relatives. We've written before addressing birth mothers in the closet, urging them to deal with the reality of their lives: they had a child, and that child may be looking for them, and DNA may find them, despite how deeply that adopted-out child was buried. In truth, I can only drum up so much sympathy for the supposed plight of the anonymous  birth/first mothers, because honesty and truth are on the side of the adoptee. Everyone deserves to know where they came from. I will go on repeating this until I take my last breath: Everyone deserves to know where they came from.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

When a stranger writes to a first/birth mother asking for adoptee contact

"Adopted child contacts birth mother" or adoptee finds birth mother" or What to do when adoptee calls birth mother" are phrases that I imagine some women are Goggling these days as they get a call or letter out of the blue--a call or letter that they thought might never come.

But they do. In a variety of ways. The contact maybe made via letter or phone call, directly or through an intermediary. The other day a distraught woman wrote to us through a comment at the page about writing the first letter to a Birth Mother or Sibling. I am repeating it here because DNA is locating more individuals every day, and there will be more during the holiday season: 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Judge: Egg Donor Cory Sause is Boy's Mother--and will get parenting rights

Cory Sause and son
An Oregon judge has ruled that an egg donor mother has the right to be part of her child's life, despite the efforts of the wealthy sperm-donor father who wants to cut her out of the picture. The ruling was based on the "contradictory" agreement that the egg-donor mother and the father signed prior to the birth of a son and emails and other evidence showing that the father intended to keep the mother in his son's life, changing his mind only after the boy was born. In her decision, Judge Amy Holmes in Portland said that she will meet with the parties to develop a parenting plan.

The case does not signal a breakthrough for all egg donors who after birth wish to participate in the resulting child's upbringing, for this case involved an agreement between two parties who were a couple at the time an egg was implanted in a surrogate, and the agreement signed was not cut-and-dried as is usual between parties who do not have a prior relationship. The child, a boy named Samuel, is now two.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

NBC's This Is Us tackles foster care and a mother who returns to claim her daughter

Are you watching America's most engaging and informative show on adoption these days? This Is Us continues to surprise and delight me with its examination of the adoption issue and most specifically, how it depicts the emotions and actions of the adopted person at the center of the drama, Randall Pearson--nerdy, successful, sensitive--brilliantly portrayed by Sterling K. Brown. It is an examination of many of the issues that are usually not fodder for primetime TV, in fact, any TV at all.

Last season we dealt with Randall's adoption and his adoptive mother's duplicity in dealing with knowledge of the identity of his biological father, who could have met Randall as a young teen when he was searching and curious on his own. But his otherwise sterling adoptive mother (Mandy Moore) prevented it. For those who haven't watched, the adult and married Randall went on a search without telling her, and found his father in one of the first episodes. The whole gamut of emotions of reunion, anger at his adoptive mother for keeping his father secret, telling the grandkids who this older guy was, the father's late-stage cancer, and his death was played out while we stayed riveted. And wept. One birth father of my acquaintance told me that he watched and cried every week.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Can mothers who lose their children to adoption be thankful?

Jane in 1968
Thanksgiving has always been intertwined with the birth of my surrendered daughter Rebecca* and our reunion. She was born exactly a week before Thanksgiving in San Francisco 1966 and we re-united a few days before Thanksgiving 31 years later. As we tend to do with five-year anniversary dates, I am looking back and reflecting. What has my life been for the past 20 years? What have I learned?

When I left the hospital on that bleak November day, I began living two lives, one life in real time, law school, marriage, three more daughters, a career; the second life in my imagination. What was Rebecca was doing at each of life's landmarks? Did she graduate from high school, go to college, marry? I tried to mentally add her to family pictures. Still, if asked how many children I had, I redacted her, answering disingenuously "my husband and I have three daughters."

Over the years, I thought about looking for Rebecca but the time never seemed right. I knew finding her would not restore her as my daughter and it could derail my life, damaging my relationship with my raised daughters, upsetting my career. On November 18, 1997 a relative, an aunt by marriage, called telling me that Rebecca had called her and sent a letter. I was stunned, frightened.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Three adoption stories: Anna Mae He and the words 'adoptive parents'; Chinese adoption, adopting from foster care

After a week in which two unremarkable but normal adoption memes unhappily reverberated in my life there was a bright light of relief, and probably not in the way you, Dear Reader, expect. First the negatives.

Recently reader Jay Iyer sent me a link to stories about the Chinese girl, Anna Mae He, who was fought over by her parents--a grad student and his wife, both Chinese and in the country on a study visa--and two Americans who wanted to adopt her, Jerry and Louise Baker. With the "help" of Mid-South Christian Services Jack and Casey He thought they were placing their daughter temporarily with the Bakers. For the Hes, it was a time of personal turmoil and financial need, added to by Anna Mae's premature birth that left them with a  hospital bill of $12,000. A temporary placement with another family did not seem unusual to the Hes' culture.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Adoption tax credit doesn't strengthen families, it destroys them; nor does it reduce abortions

Couples and singles whose incomes are under $203,540 who adopt a child, domestic or foreign, currently receive an adoption tax credit of $13,570. The credit reduces their federal income taxes dollar for dollar for every dollar the spend on adopting a child. The credit is estimated to reduce federal revenues $3.8 billion over ten years. Adopting a spouse's child does not qualify for the credit. In their tax bill--otherwise laden with benefits for the rich--House Republicans sensibly proposed eliminating this credit because it primarily benefited wealthier Americans.

Religious conservatives in the Senate, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and John Hoeven of North Dakota, demanded the credit be restored. Joining them were House conservatives and religious groups who argued that by eliminating the credit, the bill went against the GOP's anti-abortion platform. The assumption being that the credit reduces abortions by increasing adoptions. "The adoption tax credit is pro-life and pro-family" said Rep. Mark Walker, a pastor from North Carolina.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Adoption in the media: Social Q's and This is Us

Adoption finds its way into many facets of media today.

a) In the Social Q's column in the Style Section of The New York Times today, under the heading "All Facts Aren't Equal," a 14-year-old who signed himself as Gabe writes that when he and his family and friends recently were hanging out and shouting out random things about each other. He said of his 13-year-old brother: "My brother is adopted!"

He adds that indeed his brother is adopted, but wonders if it was right for his parents to tell him that he hurt his brother's feelings--since "...that's not logical." He goes on to say, "I was just stating a fact--like if I had said his eyes are blue. I don't think I have to apologize. Do you?"

Friday, November 3, 2017

Joan Didion's Blue Nights, an adoption memoir revisited on the release of documentary about her

With the release of the documentary about Joan Didion, The Center Will Not Hold, a repost of a blog written in 2011 after the release of her memoir, Blue Nights, which dealt extensively about her relationship with her adopted daughter.

Joan Didion's adoption of her daughter Quintana Roo has been on my radar ever since I realized she and her husband had adopted a daughter because their daughter was born within weeks of mine, and both girls were surrendered as infants. It wasn't until Quintana was ten or eleven that I paid more attention because one of my best friends in New York, who followed the lives of literati with interest, began insisting that this girl Quintana had to look a great deal as I must have as a child.

It was true. Except for the fact that I was a bean pole growing up, she did seem to me (and most assuredly to my friend) that she looked like I did as a kid. Photographs bore this out. Quintana was often mentioned in the magazine stories about her famous parents, including her age, and just as my daughter turned eleven, so had Quintana.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

After calling Dad, First mother responds!

ALMA Founder Florence Fisher and her father
Update: Just a short note regarding the last post of a woman who wasn't getting a response from her mother when she wrote...but put the course of action into her own hands and made a call. Dad Answered! He had been looking for her! She found a welcome and within days was interacting with her siblings.

Mom was still holding back, and had written a letter saying: no go. Not ready.

Until two days ago! All I can share is that our adoptee friend got a lovely note from her first/birth mother who included her personal phone number and suggested a time they talk. So...I repeat myself here: Sometimes--most times--direct contact through the phone is the best route to go. It is what most search angels and confidential intermediaries use. And adoptees and mothers can too!--lorraine
And yes we know, it is not always rainbows...but it might be and you will never know without trying.

For previous posts in this chain see:

When DNA yields a first mother's (or father's) rejection

Original post:

When DNA yields a first mother's (or father's) rejection

Also from FMF

Telling my family about my first child--and then going public

Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA
on October 31, 2017

If you are searching for family this is the guide to read. Richard writes in a warm, 
inviting tone and takes you along his journey, making you feel that surely, you can do the same. I read it as a 
first mom who found my daughter a different way (paid searcher in the 80s) but DNA is the way to start the 
search today. You'll even like Richard's adventures meeting people he thought were his relatives, but were not! 
Highly recommended for anyone searching, whether the adopted or members of the original family.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

When a man answered--it was the adoptee's father!

A few weeks ago I wrote that adoptees who find their parents--which is most often a mother--contact them directly via telephone if they can, rather than write a letter. Letters can be put aside, answered in the great foggy future, forgotten if one has "neglected" to tell one's spouse or other children about the one given up for adoption.

As I was writing I realized that since adoptees have every right in the whole blooming world to take matters into their own hands when they find their birth/first natural parents on their own. I urged them to call rather than write. It occurred to me that since adoptees talk about free choice being taken away from them (it is), this was a case where they could grab it by the horns, so to speak. I wrote: You don't know what will happen when you make that phone call, but it does put control into your hands rather than someone else's, and control over your life and identity to a large part has been taken away from you.

A week later an adoptee wrote this to me:

I recently popped back on FMF and it changed my life.