As she probed, Cynthia found that Michigan laws had changed yet again. She now had the right to petition the court that handled her adoption to assign her a mediator who could potentially put the two parties in touch — if they both agreed. Soon, her mediator discovered that she had a half-brother.
He had contacted the agency a few years prior and suggested that he could put them in touch with Cynthia's birth mother.
Adult Adoptees: Should You Search For Your Birth Mother?
Her lifelong mystery was starting to unravel. When Cynthia was born, her birth mother, Jan, named her Kristen Marie. It was the only thing she was really allowed to do after giving birth — before the baby was whisked away. Contrary to the details in the file Cynthia received, Jan didn't have any family support during her pregnancy. So at eight months along, the teen went to a home for unwed mothers run by the Salvation Army. Once, late at night, Jan snuck down to the nursery window and got a quick peek at her daughter before a nurse came over and snapped the curtains shut. While part of her always wanted to track down her daughter, anxiety over how her daughter's life might have turned out kept Jan from taking action.
Worst of all, I thought, What if I found her and she didn't want to find me? That would have been devastating.
So Jan kept silent about the daughter she placed for adoption — never even telling the son who eventually reached out to the agency. When Cynthia contacted Jan's son her half-brother through the mediator, and he eventually connected them, Jan was overwhelmed. Additionally, Jan's significant other had just died a few months before. It sent her life into further upheaval. Now I'm going to have to tell the world that this happened? What do I say to my grandkids? What if they think I'm a horrible person?
Finally, communication began between the two women — though Jan was still pretty upset. I just kept saying, 'It was always you. You are the one I care about. It was you, you, you. You are who I wanted to see. For a year, Jan and Cynthia emailed back and forth with lists of "likes" and personality traits, constantly comparing notes. While they swapped plenty of electronic communication, they never spoke on the phone — so there were still a lot of questions. But eventually, Jan decided it was time to meet. Before they met, Cynthia often tried to imagine her birth mother.
I'm 6 feet tall, so at times I thought, I'm related to Brooke Shields!
- After Searching for 30 Years, I Found My Birth Mother - Personal Story?
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Adoption Network – Learn how to begin searching for your birth parents | Adoption Network
Then on the flip side, I'd think, She's probably a drug addict down by the river. Other states have very open adoption record policies that allow any adoptee over the age of 18 to request a copy of their original birth certificate, which will contain the name of your birth mother and possibly the name of your birth father. There may also be some medical history available often with the identifying information redacted or other information to help locate your birth family and learn more about your adoption. Contacting the adoption agency, attorney or social worker if living that facilitated your adoption may provide you with some additional information useful for finding your birth parents.
For example, if you still have little to no information about your birth family, a DNA service may be helpful in your adoption search for birth parents. For other adoptees with extensive or partial information about their birth family, you may consider using one of these methods to help you find your birth parents:. These are volunteers who donate their time and experience to help you find more information about your birth parents. Typically, a successful method of how to find your birth parents is a combination of all three of the above adoptee search tactics.
Finding the date of birth, date of death, place of birth, or names of your birth parents will be extremely helpful, but not always entirely necessary for your adoption search. Marriage certificates, arrest records, or other legal documents that you come across in your search may also be of use to finding your birth parents. Here is a list of helpful adoptee search websites both free and paid that you may want to use in your search for birth parents:.
The information is important to adoptees because it can indicate if they have a higher risk of some diseases. Generally, medical information is usually available in most states via a state registry but other information is generally restricted and the amount of the restriction depends on which state handled the adoption. State laws vary widely on whether adopted children can have access to the names of their biological parents. Generally the records would be available to the adoptee only with a court order upon a showing of good cause. See for example, In re J.
Adoption Records Search Program
Certain states mandate the state registrar to prescribe and make available to any birth parent named on an original birth certificate in the records of the state registrar a contact preference form on which the birth parent may state a preference regarding contact by an adult adoptee, an adult descendant of an adoptee, or a legal representative of the adoptee or descendant. In certain states, adopted children may get access to the medical records of their biological parents where states have implemented such an adoption registry.
The adoption registry allows consenting biological parents to submit family medical history, accessible to adopted children. States that have such registries include Pennsylvania Act and 28 Pa. Code 1. This is not an exhaustive list and other states may have similar registries as well. Public policy favors a complete severance of the relationship between the adopted child and its biological family in order to further the best interest of the child.
Suster v. Although statutory declarations of public policy favor the rights of an adoptive family over the interests of biological relatives, when a choice between the rights of two parties requires a decision, courts at times also look into the circumstances to see who truly and sincerely cares for the child and what other circumstances would apply to the situation.
Adoptees who are now adults are generally free to seek out their biological parents and often do so. However, the methods they use are not court process but investigation, often by professionals.
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Certain states like Alabama and Colorado have set up State registries which provide contact preference and medical history forms. Medical history forms may be submitted to the state registrar with the completed contact preference form. Such medical history statement should contain a brief narrative statement written by the birth parent indicating medical information about the birth parent or other biological relatives.
Conversely, in Pennsylvania an adult adoptee or his or her legal representative can access the files of the court relating to adoption only upon an order of the court.
The information will be disclosed only if the natural parents consent to the disclosure of information. The natural parents may withdraw their consent at any time by filing a withdrawal of consent form with the court and the department. No medical history of the birth parents will be released which would endanger the anonymity of the natural parents.
If both the natural parents are deceased, their identities may be disclosed. If one parent is deceased, his or her identity may be disclosed. If only one parent agrees to the disclosure, then only the information relating to the agreeing parent will be disclosed. In New York, medical grounds may be considered as a good cause for the court to grant access to the adoption records. Florida Statute, Fla. The persons shall be limited to the adoptee and the birth parents, adoptive parents, birth siblings, and maternal and paternal birth grandparents of the adoptee.
Tennessee code Tenn. Code Ann. The records shall be released only with the express written consent given to the department by the adopted person or of a person for whom records are maintained. A person who gets access to such information is generally subject to all the requirements of the contact veto process. Most people seeking to reconnect with biological parents are doing so for emotional reasons.
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