Adopted People Reveal What It Was Like To Track Down Their Birth Family.
People on Reddit who are adopted and tracked down their real parents were asked: "Wow did it play out? Satisfying? Disappointing?" These are some of the best answers.
1/20 I reached out six months after my 18th birthday (about 10 years ago). Birth mother responded with a serious nasty gram saying that I was the biggest mistake of her life and that she wished I had died.
My adoptive parents (birth mother gave me up at birth and I was in foster care for a year) are the most wonderful people on the planet. I knew from about age 8 I was adopted; they never hid it from me but they allowed me to ask questions instead of laying it all on me at once. It wasn't obvious I was adopted (I'm the same race as my adoptive parents and I kinda look like them). They have been supportive in my search as I'm just trying to find non-identifying information about my biological parents, but if my bio - siblings wanted contact, I'd be okay with it.
2/20 I was put into foster care at the age of 15, and though I haven't been legally adopted I still live with my foster family. I aged out of the system and didn't see my biological mom since I was around 16. I'm 19 now and just last Sunday was the first time I talked to her. Some back story, my mother was abusive and addicted to meth. I have two younger brothers which I raised (now 9 and 6). I was the one who called the cops for domestic violence and worked so hard to get a better life for my family. My biological mother later decide that she would sober up a bit to get the boys back, and I didn't go back home. Since the court date giving her back the rights to my brothers I hadn't seen or talked to her. I recently decided it was time, and I met up with her.
She didn't know I was coming, it was after a visit with my brothers. She hugged me and began to cry. Honestly at first I thought I was going to be angry and yell at her, but our talk was really calm. She said she felt that he had been a good mother to me. I told her I felt the opposite and that no loving mother would do what she did to her kids. I told her how I hated her, that I didn't see her as my mother, and that even though she haunts me I pray she will sober up to be a good mother for my brothers. It was maybe a 20 minute talk but damn did it feel good. I don't NEED to talk to her again. The weight and grief from what I went through has lightened and I can move on. So, yes, I think that talking to biological parents can be a good thing, but only if you're ready.
3/20 I answered the phone one day and heard a stranger say my name. Honestly it was weird to me at the time and by the end of the conversation I didn't know what to think. I eventually met up with my biological mother, father, grandmother and numerous half siblings but it felt like I was just meeting some strangers. I heard her side of the story and my father's (they weren't together). I saw them once or twice more but I came to realize that my adoptive parents were my true parents who loved me more than life itself and I haven't really spoken to my biological family since then. Sure it gave me some closure I suppose. Would I have sought them out? Probably not. My half brother whom I was adopted with and grew up with has maintained a slightly better relationship with them but for me, just meeting them was enough.
I love my REAL parents who sheltered me and loved me and provided for me and guided me to shape me into the man I am today, but for my biological family I just feel like maybe they're some neighbors or a family friend.. It's nice to know your medical history and maybe some sort of ancestral history and the reasoning behind the adoption but I wouldn't trade my mom and dad for anything. It will be different for everybody. I suggest you go ahead and meet at least once and decide what to do from there. It can be disappointing but will provide the closure you don't even realize you need. What you choose to do afterwards is up to you.
4/20 It was not quite what I expected. It turns out my bmother died about 20 years ago and that the man I think was my bfather died earlier this year. I did get a chance to meet some of the extended bfamily and heard the story behind my being put up for adoption. I am not sure I really wanted to know the story. The whole this was a bit depressing but I did get to meet my half-sister and we talk all the time.
5/20 In a series of unfortunate events, my biological Dad adopted me from my biological mother when I was 3 hours old. So after several years of knowing this when I turned 13 or so, I had gotten the strange will one day to look for 'Lori Conselyea' and come to find out that she had died in a hospice center in Arizona from a massive drug overdose (I live in Georgia). They said that she stumbled in and that they immediately took her in and had her examined but it was clear that she needed to stay in hospice because she would not recover.
They then expressed their sole purpose from there on out would be to give her a peaceful and easy leaving, and before they started they had asked her about any friends or family in the state that she was in. She wouldn't vocally answer, but they said she shook her head constantly at the questions. I think about what that center did for her, and all the options they had, and I tear up at the utter generosity it was to take in a stranger and give them a peaceful, painless leaving. If it wasn't for that bit of closure, I'm not sure what I would make of this gravestone picture I have somewhere...
6/20 I grew up knowing I was adopted. I wanted to find my biological parents from a young age, but never really knew where to look. When I was nineteen my biological mother contacted me over Facebook on behalf of my siblings. Turned out my adoptive parents let slip their last name during the adoption process, so she'd been quietly keeping up with my life on the internet. She told me she'd understand if I didn't want to speak with her, but she felt it was her duty as a mother to extend an olive branch for my siblings, who desperately wanted to know me. I've never cried so hard in my life. My relationship with my adoptive parents wasn't very good at the time, a year earlier I'd run away because I couldn't handle their spiralling alcoholism any longer. I quickly responded, telling her I didn't resent her in the slightest, and I wanted to get to know all of them.
She told me I had three full-siblings, two brothers and a sister, nine, seven and two years younger than me respectively, and she'd been with my biological father since my birth. I spent two months obsessively talking to them all, astounded by the similarities we shared. After two months, my biological grandmother offered to pay for whatever transportation I needed to pay a visit. I took the offer immediately.
It was amazing. For the first time in my life I felt like I had a real family. They opened their arms, home, and hearts to me. My mother and I were so similar in personality, mannerisms, and history we could hardly believe it. My father and I were so intellectually similar it was like he taught me all I knew. My siblings and I got along so well it was like I'd always been there. After two weeks, they offered to let me stay in an empty room of their house, and I gladly accepted. I spent two years of my life living with them. It is likely to remain the most incredible, growing experience of my life, and I wouldn't give it up for the world. It's been six years since I met them. My sister and I had an idealogical falling out, but I'm just as close to my mom and dad and brothers as I always was. Those two guys are the light of my life. I can't imagine my life without them.
7/20 I actually had a letter from my biological father from when I was six months old, and inside of it he told me he loved me. After finishing reading that in the winter of 2011 (I was 19 at the time), I was absolutely determined to find him. On the envelope to me, was an address. I typed that address into Google, and the Adoption Agency that my adoption was conducted through came up. I e-mailed the lady who was in charge of the agency asking for information on my birth father. After a few very long months, she emailed me back, with a name. She had everything on him that I could want in terms of contacting him. She had said that the reason it took so long to find him was because she had to confirm that it was in fact him, and he didn't see the message she sent him on Facebook until later.
Anyway, I had his contact info, and I found him on Facebook. He and I were chatting for months on end to find out about each other, and we decide to meet up in my hometown (I was away at college at the time, and my hometown was half-way between his town and my college town). So we meet up, and it's incredible. Everything I've ever wanted to know gets answered for me- siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, everything. Well, his kids (my half-siblings) didn't know about my existence.
Later on that summer, he messages me on Facebook, saying that he and his wife are going to be telling the kids about me very soon. Within 24 hours, I've received friend requests from all of them. About a week and a half later, I drove down to their house to meet the entire family. I spent three days there, meeting all of my relatives. I message with them on Facebook all of the time, and visit frequently, 3 or 4 times a year. I'll actually be going to stay with them for a week during the 4th of July, and I'm stoked. Also, I do not consider his kids as my half-siblings, they are my siblings, and I'm their sibling. I would not trade my relationship I have with them for ANYTHING.
8/20 As expected. They pretended to be glad I found them, and were poor junkies living on government assistance.
9/20 I can't remember a specific time that I asked if I was adopted or when my parents told me, I've just always known. My birth parents were both 18-wheeler truck drivers with not much of a permanent address, so they decided to put me up for adoption. Growing up they would send birthday or christmas cards every few years, and then I stopped hearing from them completely for about 5 years. One day I got a random phone call from my birth father stating that my birth mom had lung cancer and she didn't have long to live, and if I was ever going to come meet them, now would be the time.
I was devastated that my birth mom was so sick and that these were the terms in which I was going to meet them. They moved into their parents house in Ohio when they passed. My adopted parents have always been supportive of me having a relationship with my biological parents and understood that I wanted to go meet my family. They went with me and we flew to Ohio a few days after the phone call. We stayed in a hotel that night and the next day I went to meet my biological parents. I will never forget that day, pulling up to their small one story house with a fenced in front yard. I got out of the car and they were there waiting for me on the front porch. It was weird, like I know these people, but have never met them. I immediately felt a deep connection with them. Its weird finally seeing the genetics you come from for the first time.
My birth mom looked very sick but she still never stopped smiling, and cooked one of the best roast beefs I have ever had. I ended up meeting my whole extended family that day, I found out I have 5 half brothers and sisters, and that I'm an UNCLE! I never expected that and my young nieces and nephews were so excited to meet me. I was over whelmed with emotion and love for these people I hardly knew. I am so glad I got that opportunity to meet them, especially my birth mom.
My birth mom passed away November 27, 2011. I unfortunately was unable to make it to the funeral, and I haven't been able to bring myself to go see her grave or contact my birth father or family. I have been to a therapist about this and I plan on finally going up there this November, on the anniversary of her passing. It is something I need to do for closure.
10/20 I am adopted from Korea. My birth mother died a month after I was born and I have known that since I can remember. (For all parents who wish to adopted, I cannot emphasize enough how important that is for a child to know and understand at an early age, I've seen what happens when a person gets told their adopted at an older age and it mentally [traumatizes] them.) We even have picture books and children's books explaining adoption.
My birth father had to give me up because Korea does not have financial help for one parent families and I believe that my mother's side strongly advised adoption (it's considered taboo almost in their traditional ways to have a one parent family, to the point where the Korean government refuses to let one parent families adopt Korean children in the USA)
My real parents never told me I had siblings so I wouldn't get confused about my brother (who is also adopted) and the two brothers I had in Korea (11 and 8 years my senior). I found out by digging through adoption records myself (as I have always wondered why my father gave me up) and found out when I was 15. My parents were going to tell me when I was 16 about my older brothers.
Fast forward 2 years: I contact my adoption agency and ask if I could have contact with my birth father. The adoption agency on the Korean side had a post adoption branch for children who wanted to reach out to their birth families. They did not get back to me quickly but after months finally responded that my birth father once came for pictures of me in 2000. He wanted to make sure I was happy and in a good home and be at ease with his decision (it was very hard for him, from what he has told me). They had a number and called it, but this number was out of service now. The adoption agency then asked if I wanted them to track him down for me. I immediately replied "Yes, please yes".
You need permission from the birth family to contact them and continue contact, otherwise your birth family experience stops right there (which for many Korean adoptees, they get a no because of the birth mother being a teenager when they were born and never telling their husband they had a child once).
My birth father responded with a letter and pictures of my family. I have a half sister 2 years younger than myself, my two brothers and my father. We only correspond through letters and my adoption agency, as my sister struggles with English and I do not know any Korean. My brother (the second oldest) always writes that he wishes we could meet and all my siblings respond with how they love me and though never met me, feel close because we are siblings. "It might be awkward when we first meet, but that's okay because you are my sister"
It's only a little contact, but honestly, I'm happy I get to have answers and be in contact with my birth family. The adoption agency always sends their handwritten letters to me through the mail and my birth father sent pictures of all of them recently and my birth parents wedding photos. My birth father had to go to my birth mother's family and ask for them. I think my mother was beautiful and all my siblings look like Korean Pop stars. I'm satisfied, happy and sometimes a little sad, but I'm saving money to visit them someday soon.
11/20 Adopted at birth. I'm 26 currently and have never wanted to know anything about my biological parents, last fathers day (of all days right) I received a facebook message from a random man asking if I was adopted, was a few details of his daughters DOB, they all matched, and boy did I look like him. We talked a bit, he sent me a picture of his daughter at birth, yep, that was me. Still not wanting to believe this random man was my biological father I told him I would contact that adoption center with his name to see if they would give me any information.
My adoption was a closed private adoption, the center called me back 3 days later to confirm that this man was my biological father. They confirmed my biological mothers name as well, all over the phone without any verification of anything. I was dumbfounded, I cried, was anger. About every emotion you could think of.
Informed the biological father that I was indeed his biological daughter, then was told I have two biological brothers, one barely a year older than me, and one four years younger. Biological mother also has a slew of other kids, as does he, came to a total of 2 siblings, and 9 half siblings. I grew up an only child.
The kicker was that the biological mother is and always has been a drug addict, she lost all her kids, every one of my siblings is completely [messed] up, they all have kids, my teenage half sister has a 4 year old. Most have been in jail, and have no contact with their parents. I spoke to the biological mother twice, she gave off the [terrible] vibe the second I started talking to her on Facebook, so I blocked her and forgot that ever happened.
The biological father wasn't much better IMO, he was with a new women with 3 kids and barely speaks to his biological children from other women. I grew up in a close family, we talk all the time and are involved in each others lives, this guy claimed to want to get to know me and meet me, talk to me on the phone, blah, blah, blah.. But it just never followed through. So I cut those ties and haven't talked to him since either.
I have talked to most of my siblings, the younger bio brother and I talk every few months, half siblings and I talk every few days. I really wanted to get to know them and build relationships with these people that are blood related to me, but they have such terrible sad lives that we really can't keep a conversation going.. so it ends up just being a few sentences exchanged every few days about how their lives are crap, and what is going wrong now.
I'm a positive person, in a good place in my life, and my husband is worried I'm going to get taken advantage of. So I keep my distance. All in all it was a terribly disappointing situation and I wish it had never happened.
12/20 So I found my parents on Facebook a few years back. I was able to find their full names because the adoption agency that sent me letters from them made a mistake and forgot to remove their last name and address for privacy reasons. I sent my birth mother a message on Facebook and ended up talking to her. My birth mother actually married my biological father and had two more kids after me so it's kind of like the family I would have belonged to if I wouldn't have been adopted. I met her once and she is nice. It's a little weird honestly. I consider my mom and dad who adopted me to be my "real" parents and my birth mom and dad to be my biological parents.
13/20 I contacted the agency a while ago to get my mother's info. I got a name and her age. After looking online, I was sad to find very little. Flash forward last May, my new BF tracked her down after I showed him the papers. I saw her on FB, and without a doubt...knew. She looked like me, had the same sense of humour...had two kids. So I stayed back, out of fear.
A few weeks later I get a notification on my Pinterest (you need to search for my real name to get it, I have a tiny group of friends following) it was her! Then the FB request. She was searching for me too! After a funny and awkward chat ("Omg do you know me?"), we called each other and cried, laughed and I spoke to my 'new' half sister. My BF was there, holding my hand when I met her after 31 years. I was so nervous I felt sick.
I was always told she gave me up, not because she wanted to...because an 18 year old girl could not provide me the kind of life she wanted for me. I never blamed her, never felt abandoned, and loved her right away. Loved my new extended family right away.
My Mom has a life similar to my parents (my Dad and Step Mom haven't met her yet, but are so excited and happy), country living etc. Haven't met/spoke to my Dad. I saw him on FB but not sure if he ever told his spouse about me. I respect his privacy. My mom's trying to talk to him via mutual friends. From only child... I have at least two siblings...a bunch of mom's...life is happiest then it's been in a while.
14/20 My birthmother found me on the internet in 2005. I had registered on adoption.com ten years earlier. She had realized she was pregnant after she had broken up with my father and he had moved overseas. She never even told him and he died in 2000 never knowing I existed. I will never meet her [again] as no one in her family, including possibly her husband, knows about me. We exchange emails and pictures. I despise my hs graduation picture - worst picture of me ever taken. She found it online and sent me hers from 20 years earlier. We are twins. It is uncanny. She hates hers too.
The funny thing is I did some research on ancestry.com for my dad who has a very unusual Hungarian name (so now I know I am part Hungarian). Turns out he married and had a son who has the same name as me. I email that to my birthmother and she wrote back and said she too had another son and he has the same name as me too. Yes, it is a common American name but still it is funny that I have two brothers and we all have the same name. I am now thinking of contacting my dad's son. I have survived cancer and would love to have a little more medical history.
15/20 Found my mom and older brother. Neither of them wanted anything to do with me. But it's cool my adoptive parents are my real family.
16/20 I was adopted and found my birth parents a couple of years ago. I found my mom first, and sent her a email. It took her over a year to respond because she felt guilty about the whole thing (at least that's what she told me later). After emailing occasionally for a few months she was willing to tell me my father's name. He was easy enough to find after that. Problem was he had no idea my mom was ever pregnant. I sent him a email asking some general questions just to make sure it was him before I dropped the bomb, but he looked at my pictures on Facebook and apparently told his wife "this person is definitely my son".
We emailed back and forth and decided to meet up one day at a local pub. We met and talked and he was really cool about the whole "I suddenly have a son I didn't know about for 25 years" thing. The thing I find most interesting is that I am a awesome example of nature versus nurture. My adoptive parents were always trying to make me go outside and play sports, when all I wanted to do was stay inside and play video games. My biological dad loves video games, comics, sci-fi, and D&D just like me. Also I thought it was funny that when we met he randomly had a D&D miniature in his jacket pocket and I randomly had a d20. All in all a good experience and I'm glad I got in contact with them.
17/20 I've always known I was adopted and about two years ago I decided to search for my biological mother. The process took some time but was relatively simple. I went to the agency that had adopted me out to my adoptive parents and I had to fill out some paperwork and give them $400 to search for my mother. It took a while for them to get a hold of my bio-mom. Then they sent her paperwork to fill out regarding family medical history and the adoption agency also asked her if she was willing to let me have her contact info.
In around November of 2012 I got a phone call while walking back to my car from a class. I remember that walk because I have never been more excited in my life. On the phone the adoption agency told me my biological moms name and address. Later that night I found her on Facebook and added her.I found out I had two younger siblings, a brother and a sister from looking through her pictures. We started messaging each other and I met her in person just after Christmas. I also met my grandparents, brother, sister, 3 cousins, aunt and other assorted family at the same time. It was a little bit overwhelming but at the same time an amazing experience. Since then I've kept in close contact with my biological family. Meeting them is the best thing that's ever happened in my life.
18/20 I found my biological mother when I turned 30. I had the strongest feeling in the world that I was going to find her. My mom (non-biological, but everything in the world to me), gave me my petition of adoption that told me my birth name. I never knew I had one. I also contacted the adoption agency, and they gave me all of the non-identifying information that they could. It was like reading a fairy tale. However, I finally found out the hospital in which I was born. My birth certificate just has my name, date and city of birth and parents names, and that there's another birth certificate on file for me. That's the closed one. Trump would have a field day with me if I ever ran for President.
So, for my 30th birthday present to myself, I placed a classified ad in our most popular newspaper on Long Island, the week of my birthday. It ran for 7 days. I got a lot of crackpot calls (my work number), and a lot of supportive calls from other adoptees. On the 8th day, I got a call and the woman said "I think I'm who you're looking for. I asked her maiden name, and bingo! We both burst into tears. She never looks at the classifieds, but her eyes just drifted over on the page, and she saw it. She called her boyfriend to ask what she should do. She was a wreck.
She was 16 when I was born and my dad was 17. They never married, and I never got to meet him. I saw photos and I am a complete mix of both of them. She did marry at 19, and I have two brothers! She had a lot of loss in her life. First me, then her Dad passed away, her brother, a ballet dancer for the Joffrey Ballet (I would have followed him around like a puppy. I danced for years.), was one of the first wave of AIDS patients, before it even had a name. They were very close, and she just snapped. She abandoned her boys and husband, and had a long term affair with a married man, that never wound up with them being together. It's like she can't get really close to people.
So we had an off and on relationship, that turned off completely after a disastrous trip to AZ to visit my brothers. She got really nasty with me. So much so, that my brothers said "What did you do?" I had no clue, and we concluded that she was used to being the center of attention during these trips, and since my brothers and I had so little time together, of course we were talking a lot and asking each other a lot of questions. She was so rude and sarcastic with me, she was just brewing with anger. I was never so relieved to get home. I wrote her a letter saying that I didn't find her to be verbally abused by her, and maybe it is best that we part ways. She moved to AZ when she retired to be near the boys. They "tolerate" her.
I did reach out to her when I was 50 and diagnosed with breast cancer, trying to see if I could get some medical background info. She didn't have much, and was drinking heavily. The drinking was always a factor with her, as well as pot smoking. She was self-medicating. Oddly enough, I am closer with her ex-husband (who knew my father), than I am with her. The miraculous parts were seeing a face that looked like mine, and finding out all of the bizarre things that we had in common. I do not regret it, but I truly think it just brought up too many memories and a lot of pain that she couldn't deal with. There was tremendous shame associated with getting knocked up in 1961. I think she still carries the weight of that.
My parents had her and the boys over, and they thanked her and welcomed her and the boys to the family. I've thanked her for giving me life many times. It makes her really uncomfortable.
19/20 I met my biological mother and it was disappointing. She insisted on meeting me at Boston pizza, a mediocre Canadian pizza/pasta chain. It had been 20 years since I seen her. I was 23. She brought her current husband. So I had to refrain from showing any kind of emotions. It was awkward. Really didn't accomplish anything. I wish she would have came by herself, I wanted to ask her so many questions. We eat our meals, and said goodbye. Haven't talked since. (7 years ago) Even though she is on my Facebook. I refuse to reach out to her.
20/20 I also knew I was adopted (at least in my memory, there was no point where I remember being told). It was weird cause we lived in the same town as my birth mother and we would often run into her at places like the library when we were much younger. My mom always had to tell me who she was cause I never recognized her. My other two brothers are also adopted from the same mother, but my birth mother has some kids of her own that she kept too.
When I was about 16, I got a weird complex and really wanted to get to know my birth parents. I soon found out that my birth mother had written a letter to my parents saying that her kids wanted to get to know their siblings and asked if we could all get together. My parents had kept the letter from us because they were afraid my younger brother would react strangely.
We did end up finally all getting together maybe about a year later. I was excited and very nervous all at the same time. Strangely enough, it wasn't really anything special. Come to find out that this woman that I had painted a wonderful picture of in my head, really wasn't what I was expecting at all. Also, she didn't really feel like my mom at all. She was just the woman who gave birth to me. To this day, the woman who raised me will always be who I consider to be my mother. I keep contact with my birth mom still, we are friends on Facebook and such, but that's about it.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.