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People who were adopted and are tracing or have traced bio parents...

(34 Posts)
madamez Fri 27-Jun-08 01:58:18

I know this is so late at night that most of you are asleep so I won't flap if I don't get many responses till tomorrow...
I think I am about to start trying to trace. I am really scared. Really really really scared, but I am coming to the conclusion that I sort of need to do it and I won't feel quite right till I have taken at least a few steps along the way.
SO those of you who have done it or are doing it, how bad and scary will it get?

WarmFuzzy Fri 27-Jun-08 09:48:22

Hi madamez, didn't want to let this go unanswered. I have no personal experience but hear it is a very emotional journey.

I have two friends who have done it. One found his mother who didn't want to know him. That could have been utterly devastating but he also found his sister and they have become very close - family holidays every year etc.

The other found a huge, warm, dysfunctional family that welcomed her with open arms. I think while she was adopted out of the family another three or four other children stayed. Hard not to feel rejected but she is very aware that her adoption opened many doors for her in terms of education and opportunity. She remained close to both her adoptive mother and her birth mother until they died.

madamez Fri 27-Jun-08 12:43:57

THanks. I think one of the things that is actually bugging me is that I will be legally obliged to have counselling, and I resent that because I do not have the highest opinion of counselling in general and somehow think it will be just my luck to get a rubbish one.

readyfornum2 Fri 27-Jun-08 16:43:21

Hi Madamez I recently traced my Birth mother and we have been having regular contact for about 3-4 months now (mainly text messages)
I am really glad I did it but havent plucked up the courage to tell my adoptive parents yet!!

I wasnt obliged to have counselling but I also didnt do it through an agency!

Have you got any information already or are you just starting out?

I knew that the chances of being rejected by my BM were quite small as my parents had always been open about why she had given me up and my BM has been very honest about it too. I also half a half Brother and Sister that I am just getting to know and am going to be an auntie in august!!

It is a scary thing to do and it might not turn out how you want but only you can decide to do it or not x

madamez Fri 27-Jun-08 21:49:54

thanks rFN2. I was adopted in 1964 so will be legally compelled to have counselling before getting access to my records. I know I could do the trace on line because my mum knows my birth mother's surname - and will tell me if I ask her, but asking her is a scary prospect too.
I am scared of the upheavals this will cause for my family (mum, dad, brother), a little anxious about the possible upheavals for DS who is 3 (flapping self-obsessed mummy for a while) and quite annoyed that I am beginning to feel that I won't feel right till I do it, because I think it's a bit of a pathetic position to be in having spent years saying that to have been adopted doesn't mean you are messed up or lack anything...

roisin Fri 27-Jun-08 21:54:11

A different point of view if you like. I had a baby adopted nearly 19 years ago. When he was 18 (Sep 2007) I wrote to the Agency including all the paperwork and asking for a Section 98 request for contact thingie.

I eventually had an acknowledgement from them in about February I think.

Since then I have heard nothing.

I understand and accept that he may not wish to have any contact, but I wanted him to know that I would be delighted to hear from him if ever he wants to.

madamez Fri 27-Jun-08 22:07:10

Thank you Roisin. I think one of the things that is stressing me is: whether or not my having done nothing about contact so far is causiing someone pain? I am 43 so that could be 15 years of technically unnecessary pain I have caused by not applying for contact.

I have done a lot of fairly public stuff, been on TV etc (not in any way to do with adoption issues and definitely never mentioning that I was adopted) and I think subconsciously there might have been a bit of 'Hey here I am' about it. My mum saw a boy on a TV show once who she said was either my half-brother or a cousin because he looked so like me and had the right surname.
And there is a woman (or maybe more than one) who is about my age and looks enough like me to have bemused several of my friends who have seen her in places where I was not (but might easily have been). Some acquaintances have approached her, greeted her with my name and been (obviously, understandably) politely rebuffed.

CilC Fri 27-Jun-08 22:17:34

I was adopted and had no desire to track down the woman who had me (sorry just can not use the term mother as I have one already). But since having my DD and a LO on the way have thought more about it from a medical point of view. A friend recently needed bone marrow and her brother thankfully was a match/donor.

So I have now started investigating and tracing her. I am not really concerned at all how this will affect her family and I understand if she wants this kept private. I have been up front with my family as to why I am doing this. I have no guilt what-so-ever. I had nothing to do with what happened and personally I am very glad I was adopted as I have had a fantastic and rich life.

I am not cross or anything with her, she just was never a part of my life and as such is a stranger.

YOu just have to do what you want to do and if that is locate her, then go ahead. Try not to let it become too personal and don't have any expectations as they may not want to be contacted.

madamez Fri 27-Jun-08 22:24:16

Thanks CilC. When I mentioned affecting my family I meant my adoptive family - I know my mum and dad will find it hard - well at least I meant that I was more worried about the feelings of my mum and dad (and brother though I think he will not be bothered) because I know them and care about them. But to an extent there are the feelings of the biological people which are going to be affected: I am not sure that what I want matters more than all those people's rights to go about their business without upheavals.
I have a good friend who was adopted too and she says that it is always worth doing even if the people you trace don't want to know.

Acinonyx Fri 27-Jun-08 22:29:52

madamez - the counselling is very light-wieght. Ony one session is required where they basically check that you have thought about different outcomes and so on. Once that's out of the way you can get your original birth certificate.

I've had contact with my birth parents for 24 years. It's been up and down and my adoptive parents did find it hard for a while. But it was something I needed, for better or for worse.

I've been a volunteer with for many years. You might find them helpful. They have advice on tracing, a helpline and can provide an intermediary service if you wish.

http://www.norcap.org.uk/

madamez Fri 27-Jun-08 22:41:29

Thanks. I have rung the relevant local council (who have the records) who said to put it in writing with all the info I have... my mum knows my birth mother's surname so I know the next step is to talk to my mum but it's really hard to go there. Because I know she knows and she has always said she will tell me when I want to know but actually asking...

Kewcumber Fri 27-Jun-08 22:52:43

"I am not sure that what I want matters more than all those people's rights to go about their business without upheavals" - perhaps, perhaps not but I'm pretty sure that what you want shouldnt matter less.

You had no choices then and they did (all of them adoptive and birth parents). It is your turn to have some choices now. Wanting to know more about your birth family doesn't mean you have issues about being adopted or feel that you have lost out. You just want to know whatever you can. And why not - I would.

I understand your nervousness - I hope that DS will be happy to approach me at any time to discuss what little I know about his birth mother, I also hope that he feels a little apprehensive because I'll know then that he has turned into a caring young man.

Good luck

Acinonyx Fri 27-Jun-08 22:53:42

If you get your original birth certificate (or adoption file) then you don't need to ask your mother for the name, if that's any help. Not meaning that you shouldn't talk to her about it - but perhpas it might be easier not to have to ask her for the vital information. Or perhpas you think that would be a way to open up the topic?

CilC Fri 27-Jun-08 23:07:37

Good luck Madamez. But please remember you what Kewcumber said, your feelings are just as important!

madamez Fri 27-Jun-08 23:09:34

I think if I don't ask her then she will be hurt. But she won't be thrilled if I do actually ask. The asking is something of a big thing, because I have known for about 10 years that she knows this fact and I don't.

There have been YEARS of skating up to the edge of this scary black hole and then scuttling away. The phantom twins. The odd resemblances and the family jokes about the odd resemblances. The keeping it quiet and then not keeping it quiet.
This is looking like such a huge deep shift in everything. And I really thought it would never happen.

hellymelly Fri 27-Jun-08 23:18:36

I think its a shame that you have to ask- could you ask her to put it in a letter so that you can open it if/when? I have no experience of this personally,but I do honestly believe that anyone who gives a baby up for adoption will be thinking of that baby for ever,hoping they are alright etc.Good luck with your journey.

madamez Sat 28-Jun-08 00:59:00

I think that asking her to write it down would be kind of more insulting than just asking her to tell me but thank you for your suggstion.

madamez Sat 28-Jun-08 02:27:27

Bump. Bleat. Bump. Bleat. I am having a probably-several-days bout of self-indulgence. Bleat.

Sawyer64 Sat 28-Jun-08 04:13:03

I am adopted,and never felt the "need" to trace my BM,until my DS was born,and in particular now my DD's,because of Medical reasons mainly.

I feel I have no "gap" in my life that needs filling,just some health questions really.

I am very unsure about tracing as I feel it is a "Pandora's Box".

I am pretty sure if I found out details of my BM or indeed BF,I would probably want to find out more.

My (adoptive) parents have always been open with me,but were always open with their feelings about "tracing".My mother feels that a BM or BF isnt an "instant" right to
being a parent(probably worded that wrong,no offensive to anyone!)

Just that,they are "strangers" and a blood link isnt a guarantee of Liking or loving someone,especially if they chose to not be a parent at that time.There are oviously lots of reasons behind adoptions,and I'm sure many are "regretted" later,but equally,some must not be.

My (adoptive) mother is "against" my tracing,but is happy to "help" in any way,but she doesnt want to be involved or discuss/know details.

The Dilemma continues........

maryz Sat 28-Jun-08 20:45:44

Madamez, it sounds like you have a good relationship with your mother. If that is the case, then talk to her. If this feeling of wanting to trace is that you "won't feel quite right" until you do, then you may well find that she will want you to go ahead.

I have two adopted children, and I am concerned about them tracing in time. My fears are based solely on the fact that they may be rejected by their birth parents when/if they trace them. For this reason, I would like them to be sure they are ready and prepared before they trace. I hope they don't feel that I am reluctant - though my worry may feel to them like reluctance, iykwim.

Your parents love you. They want you to be happy. They have obviously been open and honest with you about your adoption. Be honest with them and talk to them about this. They will worry - that is their job as parents. You may not get the answers you want. But at least you will know, and I to me it sounds as though that is what you want right now.

23balloons Sat 28-Jun-08 21:01:15

I am adopted and did trace my birth parents many years ago. It was very difficult for me to tell my adoptive parents as they had never actually told me I was adopted. I got my original birth cert and it had my BM's name on it. It was a long time ago so I cannot remember everything in detail but the counselling session was more of a formality than anything else.

It sounds in your case that perhaps your BM lived/lives nearby? That wasn't the case for me so I do keep the two families separate. I am very close to both families (my birth parents married and had other children).

Although it has worked out well for me it was a very stressful and difficult process and you do need to be sure you want to do it whatever the outcome. You have every right to try to trace your birth family if you wish and I do think your mother is wrong to make you ask for the information you need/want. Good luck with whatever you decide and I hope it works out well for you.

Glen32 Sun 29-Jun-08 18:31:00

i was adopted at the grand old age of 9 days. found out when i was 14 and started searching, 5 years later we met, took my mum with me as she was more stressed about it than me (thought that it would ease her thought process so she came along) been in contact now for 13 years mums are now pretty friendly and chat openly with each other, very ahrd thing to do and yes the formallity of going through the counselling crap , (guess it works for some not all) No bitterness either, she done what she thought was the right thing so many years ago and nothing can change whats happened so you make the most out the future, going to visit was a nightmare though you got on the train leaving one set parents behing and arrived off the other end of the train with a new set of rules and regulations for the weekend. Goodluck whoever and whenever just think it through thouroughly first.

lijaco Mon 30-Jun-08 21:38:11

We are going to become gaurdians of our baby grandson next month. His Mum came through the care system herself from the age of 14 years. She suffered terrible abuse up until social services took all of the 6 children into care. She became involved with my son who cared for her a lot but could not cope with her as she is so damaged. The abuse was physical from her mother and her parents were in a domstically violent relationship. Without going into too much detail I have been advised by social services to prevent my Grandson from reading his files as it is upsetting. His Mum left her foster placement that she had with her baby and never returned. She didn't turn up to any contacts and hasn't asked for any since. I think that he will be curious in the future and want to trace his Mum. I think that you have to be prepared for this as it can be troubling to find out the circumstances at the time. I worry a lot about the hurt involved for my Grandson. However things can turn out very positive. Good luck I think that you should do this when you feel ready.

fizzbuzz Mon 30-Jun-08 21:53:53

I traced my bm, and had to have counselling. I don't have a high opinion of counselling either, but I am bloody glad I had it for this.

They bring all sorts of issues out, like guilt, rejction, even something called genetic attraction which I had never heard of

All the issues you mention are raised in counselling, and what hlped me is, it is really about what you need to know, and you shouldn't feel guilty about it. You are only trying to find out waht most people take for granted.

I have no contact with BM now, as I felt overwhelmed by her. My adoptive mother supported me through it, but then when it came to the crunch really struggled and didn't want to know what was happening. I think this is quite common..which is why you need counselling. No one can loathe counselling as much as me, (I HATE IT) but this is diffent. as it is making you aware of things you may not ever have thought of.

HTH

sandy4 Mon 30-Jun-08 22:05:29

hi madamez, i traced my birth parents 10 years ago. the only regret i have is that i put everyone elses feelings before my own.

i am pleased that i did it as it felt as though i had finally completed a jigsaw. good luck!

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