Despite the mixed emotions/behaviors I’ve been met with and some unexpected emotions I’ve experienced, I would not give up this experience. For me, knowing is better than not knowing. I have very positive interactions with an aunt and a second cousin and in general, on my maternal side, I am accepted even though my mother is working out her part in all of this. My Paternal side is unresponsive. I found both sides of the family through genetic testing and they seem to want much more privacy. There are 2 men, a father and a son who could be my father so the situation is complicated. It hurts to have contacted 1/2 sister, aunt, 2nd cousin and to still be shut out. Perhaps it will be resolved someday.
Overall, my reunion has progressed better than I could have hoped. My biological mom and I talk weekly on the phone and I am constantly shocked to find that all my little “quirks” come straight from her. I am frustrated by the fact that my four half siblings do not know I exist and my bio mom doesn’t want to tell them. She has made it clear however, that she doesn’t care who knows after she is gone. She is elderly now and I am choosing to respect her wishes and stay silent.
I am the low man on the totem pole, so to speak, with both of my families. With one, I grew up with them, but don’t really belong. With the other, I belong generically, but we didn’t grow up together. I’m the odd man out either way, which is tough. I’m glad to know and have relationship with my birth siblings though. They explain such a missing piece of myself – I am so much more like them than my adoptive family.
No it’s an individual thing
I am very grateful for it, I would have forever felt lost without having done so.
My bio mom is sweet, but she will never be my mom, so she is a friend. My 1/2 sister had the honeymoon phase with me and now she only talks to me one text a week. Both of my brother want nothing to do with me. One grew up knowing that I was alive and adopted out. The other did not know I existed until I told his aunt. I have several bio aunts and cousins that I am in contact with on a weekly basis.
I feel more complete as a person
I have found that the relationships with my half siblings have been the hardest to manage. Some view me as a sibling and others want nothing to do with me.
I seem to have grief and anger that will never end. I am a BSE adoptee. My bmom wanted to keep me. My bdad wasn’t told about me. I was thrown away as a teen when I couldn’t be the bio child my amom wanted. Adoption has left me with nothing. My bmom never had another child. My bdad loves me. All this lost for nothing. I will never be at peace with my adoption.
There can be so many ups and downs with reunion, no two stories are the same. After initial elation at being reunited, many reunitees go through difficult periods that can end the reunion, either due to differing views of the world (politics, religion, upbringing, a variety of -isms) or due to biological families not wanting to be forthcoming about information. Some adoptees are very, very angry, though they may not realize it right away. I experienced most of these and had a period of two years where we did not speak after reunion. Luckily we have been able to mostly overcome our differences and become a family.
It’s an ongoing emotional roller coaster, which I would not have expected when I first came into contact with my bios. I thought things would just settle down and become “normal”, but things are always changing. Hi! Sorry, I answered #69 wrong by accident – nobody has died!
My biological family is the first family in which I didn’t feel like an outsider.
Meeting bio-mom and other bio family members has filled a part of my heart I never knew was empty. Answered so many questions about who I really am as well.
It is hard, gut wrenching at times. But I wouldn’t trade one moment of this post fog pain. I love my father and my siblings, even when I don’t like them. We are family regardless of circumstances. Adoption did NOT provide that for me.
Some are happy to have me as part of their family. Others want nothing to do with me. My biograndma told lies to me and biomom to keep is apart. Now, 20 years later she still won’t speak to me. But I did find ohrer relatives with the help of a search angel in 2015 and it has gone well for the most part. I wouldn’t change anything. My cousin and I have become best friends. I feel like I finally fit in somewhere. I look like other people instead of sticking out.
It has been grounding to meet people I am like but so painful to realise what I lost and what can never be regained. It was a forced adoption where I was placed in a toxic family all for no real reason other than societal beliefs. A tragic mess where we all still bear scars.
It made me a whole person.
I was finally home . Being adopted was like being held captive by strangers kidnapped till I could escape and find my mother .
The reunion was a disaster with both biological parents. I was treated like a curiosity by most of the members of my biological mothers family and my biological father first denied I could be his then rejected me, as did one of his biological sons. I have given up now and have nothing to do with any biological families.
The journey, no matter how painful, had been worth it. I know more about myself and my strengths because of searching and reunion than I ever would have known.
Its shattered my life. I don’t know who I am or where I belong in this world. I have 3 families and not one do I belong to where I am fully accepted. My sadness, grief, anger, frustration overwhelms me. My life, my choices, my fears have governed everything I do and say and react, by my trauma of adoption.
We, myself the adoptee and my bio fam kept each other at a distance for a long time and when I attemped to move closer, they shut down and didnt really care to know and accept me as anyone important to them.
I have a much better sense of who I am, and where I belong, and life is a lot better, but I have scars from my adoption.
Reunion is only necessary when we take children from their families and create the legal fiction of adoption. All adoption should be abolished and replaced with ‘enduring guardianship’ that does not sever ties.
So far it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself, in many ways. I wish my birthmother had been alive – that’s the main disappointment. Otherwise, I’ve been really about it. It’s gone much better than I ever imagined.
So many of the questions asked are too simp!e for such a complicated scenario. Finding my real, natural mother saved my life. We should have never been separated. It was magical and full of love and also much regret, shame and realizing the scope of all that we lost, and continue to lose. I gained a beautiful biological family, and also lost my adoptive fami!y due to their attitude over my reuniting.
It’s brought a calm to me that anyone who knew me before would testify to!
It’s been life-changing. The honeymoon period is over, and now it is hard. I really would like to talk to a counselor, but have not been able to find someone who would have any perception of adoption issues.
My ancestors are my past and future
I now have feelings, am aware of my feelings, acknowledge my feelings and subsequently am much more aware of the feelings of others.
I feel like I fit in better with my real family than I ever did with my adoptive family. I am at the positive end of the bell curve, having been welcomed back into the family with open arms, by every family member.
BM lied about so much its so frustrating to finally find out the truth after 45 years.
Meeting my biological father and siblings has been wonderful.
There’s tremendous peace and belonging when I found my people. It was like life finally gave me permission to be myself and pursue my dreams because I came from a biological family full of people who have done the same thing I want to do / am doing. It should not have taken 30 years of my adult life to do that! Adoptees should know their bio-history and identities!
It’s been difficult and painful but I would definitely do it again. It’s so important to know where we came from. It’s our right to know where we came from!
It is an emotional rollercoaster. Answers questions but be prepared to not get answers. Be prepared to be rejected and have a strong emotional support system. Counseling is best with someone who understands primary abandonment issues.
I initiated contact at 20 years of age. I was not prepared, and would have benefited from an adoption-competent therapist. My relationship w/my bmom started strong, then deteriorated rapidly. She held me at increasing arms length. When I was not allowed to visit her dying father in the hospital, or attend his funeral, I walked away. Relationship with siblings has been a challenge. I regret not having been raised alongsode them. My bdad’s wife has played a pivotal role in ensuring a positive reunion. She is a strong maternal force in my life. On the flip side, my bmom’s husband was cold and standoffish. I believe his discomfort contributed to my bmom’s willingness to fully connect with me. My relationship paternal grandmother was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Reunion has helped my better understand who I am.
I feel a deep sense of sorrow over not growing up with my family, but I wish I had searched sooner. The truth shall set you free
It’s still pretty early in the reunion but I feel like I ‘belong’ with my paternal side. There’s a peace in knowing where you and your children/grandchildren get certain characteristics.
It is tremendously complex. It is unlike any other relationship.
It has answered many questions. Who I looked like, my personality traits, my son’s personality quirks. My predisposition to medical issues, i.e. Asthma & cancer.
It was a necessary thing to have happened. I needed answers. And I felt that something was always missing. Luckily my reunion is a successful one but even if it hadn’t been, I think I still would have wanted to know
Contact has been minimal so far but I’m still hoping for a relationship with my birth mom or others. I knew it would be hard but I’m struggling with missing my extended family now that I know who/where they are, and I had barely thought of them prior to searching.
Even in the case of birthmom, with whom I have chosen not to have contact, I am glad to know. Birthfather is among my best friends. Yet he and I both agree I was better off adopted–for many reasons, not economic.
I was LDA and it was too late for my mother to deal with the loss of 3 babies, she didn’t know gender or # and my brothers arrived 22 years earlier than I. They became estranged. When I turned up 21 years later it was too much for her to bear.
I found out that my birth mother kept me a secret all these years to my half siblings and others, it was hurtful and impacted our reunion. It made me want contact less. She also ended up after 30 years living 7 minutes from my house.
I am still a secret. I am alive with a beating heart, but there is still a problem with coming out in the open with other family members that I am in contact with my birthfather. He claims me, but at the same time cannot tell other relatives about me. My birthfather and birthmother reside in the same community, but are not married to each other. It’s a struggle. But I try and make the best of it. Contact now is more than I have ever had in the last 45 years and I want the contact to continue so I just keep plugging along
I’m glad to know them.. I stay in touch with a couple of them. I’d like to find my birth father’s side of the family.
Although I feel welcome and accepted I still feel like the odd one out, which seems to be a constant throughout my life
phenomenally necessary, & yet not wholly restorative. huge holes left in my emotional heart, not fixable, along with connectedness with few. overwhelming loss of bio-tree, never repairable due to time/experience loss/lost. i don’t regret “finding” for a moment. the toll on life, emotions, health, relationships, Being Understood (!) is a tidal wave of insurmountable turmoil.
Very emotional journey. Many feelings that I didn’t know were there plus I become very anxious about her leaving me again.
Q. 27 where it asks do I think every adoptee has a right to their birth certificate? In the US this just means a right to see it, I believe. In Australia, (and I think pockets of the US) there is a fight for the right not only to see the cancelled, invalid birth certificate, but to have the TRUE one as the basis of our identity. So I think there are two ways to take this question. The right to know who we were, or the right to be who we truly are.
I feel that my very existence has been validated. My whole life I had a yearning and a deep sadness that could never be satisfied or healed. While it’s still in progress, that yearning has decreased and the sadness is no longer constant. Reunion is not easy. I caution adoptees to prepare themselves emotionally in every way possible before making contact. Rejection from any biological relative reopens that wound in a whole new way. All in all, I have no regrets. I set out to find my truth, whatever that meant – good, bad, or ugly. I have done that. Connecting with my mother has been indescribable. Finding half-siblings has been a huge surprise and a mixed bag – some are welcoming, some not so much. My sperm donor is another story. He initiated conversation, and then after a few weeks felt he had done “enough” and said he needed to go back and spend his retirement with his “real”/immediate family. Fortunately, I didn’t have much time to get attached. I’m happy to know where I came from, who I look like, where I got some traits from, and what my story is. Everyone deserves to know their truth.
There is so much to say. It changed everything. Seeing my dear mother was wonderful, but realizing I did not even know her was devastating.
Finding my birth families was the primary goal of my life for the first 40 years. Finding was the best experience of my entire life.
No regrets at all. I’d do it all again. But, it’s often very complicated and painful. And although I love my parents (bio and adoptive), I truly hate how adoption has affected my life.
It’s amazing to find people who not only look like me, but share my quirks and traits. They’re MY people.
Search and reunion was an important piece of growing into adulthood, but it also wasn’t as transformative as I expected. I am a transracial adoptee (black/white) so identity issues have always been critical for me. My initial reunion was with my white biological mother so it didn’t address any of my identity issues. My biological father, who is black, rejected reunion. That was very painful as my yearning for biological family was very much focused on race for me. I believe my interaction with him would have been far more profound than with my bio mother. I have subsequently found other black biological family members. I value those relationships more – and feel a stronger sense of identity because of those reunions.
It’s a very emotional thing and does not resolve into complete fulfillment as I thought prior. But beside having my child it’s the best thing to ever happen to me
I feel extremely lucky to have an entire new family that loves both me and my sister, including our spouses and my children.
Sense of wholeness, being grounded, radically changed my take on the adoption narrative.
The pain of rejection does not go away. It is hard to start a relationship with the nice bfamily members, also. Even though they cause me pain, i dont regret searching
It hasn’t been easy, but it’s made me feel more whole and more grounded.
I am saddened that she thinks adoption has harmed me, and that she wishes it were otherwise. She’s wishing away part of who I am in favor of a dream of a girl that does not exist. My reality is the truth. I wish she would value my truth more than her fantasy.
It’s annoying because my biological mother won’t tell me anything, and tells me that my half siblings and I have the same dad, when it is so obvious that we don’t. Similarly, I don’t really have any relationship with my half siblings, we barely talk.
It’s been a massive roller coaster of emotion.
I started reunion the day after my 18th birthday and was unprepared. It’s taken 19 years following that to come out of the fog. Also don’t want to imagine what my life would be like without them (birthmom, full sibling).
It was great at first. After a few years, I found that I still suffered from unresolved grief and loss. I’m searching for therapy specifically for adoption trauma but not finding much help in my location. I have decided to make a change in my community and one day help others heal too.
It continues to have a strong affect on me. I love and think about my biological family constantly. I live 1000 miles from all family.
1. Self validation and discovery. 2. The clarity of the need for open records rather than for the adoptee to be subjected to the equal rights violation of having to search by unlawful means.
Since reunion I think about adoption 24/7. I don’t know how to shut it off
Adoption is cruel. My narcissistic adopted mom has completely severed our relationship because I hurt her so much by finding my biological family. My adopted family all apparently have sided with her against me. My biological family is great, but I missed too much to be a full member. I’m mostly an orphan, on the outside looking in. It would have been kinder not to carry out the pregnancy.
It has been the most difficult thing I have ever done or will ever do. And I would do it all again.
I would like to see counseling be mandatory across the board prior to any form of search progression
I would have to say that even after knowing that I was adopted my entire life and that there must be other family out there, it’s been a very unusual feeling to find that the family that I imagined are actual, real people, and not just myths. On the one hand, these people are all strangers that I just met, and on the other hand, there is a real and tangible connection between us. We have things in common, and share a connection that feels like familiarity. I found myself joyful over these new connections and people in my life, and at the same time I was mourning the loss of a mother I never knew, and a lifetime together with long lost family.
It’s a bewildering experience. Hard to square up everyone else staying together.
Medical history is vital especially when my daughters were born. The amount of times the doctors asked for family medical history was too many to count. And the Canadian social services do not provide any help and treat you like a criminal if you ask for help. So reunion was invaluable to me but we could never ‘prove’ we were related to the doctors!
It has totally changed my perception of myself and has made me far more aware of how adoption affected me. It has broken me several times and still breaks my heart in many ways. I’ve grown as a person but it hurts. Sometimes I am so fed up of hurting and in many ways I now feel even less like I belong anywhere; the classic history with one dna with the other, I don’t seem to be able to marry the two.
It was great to meet a family member who I had something in common with.
It’s been 8 years and I can honestly say it’s undefined it terms of benefits. I can say the benefits of reunion has satiated me for curiosity sake. Having answers and some ancestry have meant the world. I find it comforting to know my biological parents but don’t really care for a relationship with either of them
secrets in adoption is wrong. Being the secret sucks. Rejection means the lies are easier to live with then disclosing the secret.
It has been a journey of emotions and I’m still on it…the good and the bad. I am thankful that I followed through and searched.
More confident and real. But only after years of processing.
Overall good, but opened up a lot of negative emotions I never acknowledged before and I was plagued with “what ifs” along with some lies, secrecy from the Baby Scoop era.
Through reunion I have gained the truth. Even though it is not all positive, it is still better to know the truth.
Reunion is impossible to describe
Not enough time or space to answer this one
I think therapy with someone who specializes in adoption or is an adoptee is extremely important.
I have been so fortunate to have a happy, positive reunion with my biological family. My birth parents have been married for 43 years & I have 2 full siblings.
Our culture clash has been the biggest “problem” in my reunions. I am reunited with my father who lives in the Carolinas and is a misogynistic, racist man. I live in liberal/progressive Portland, Oregon and I am open to everyone. My mother lives in Southwestern Louisiana. Our values are very similar but sometimes their etiquette rules are hard for me to adapt to and follow.
Reunion does not cure adoption. But it does plug some of the holes in your heart.
Reunion will not change the past but glad to have some answers. Still struggle with unresolved anger and abandonment issues.
Prior to reunion, I would have argued nurture over nature till I was blue in the face and I also would have argued that biology does not matter when it comes to family. Now that I have actually met biological relatives and had my own child, I see how critical that bond is—and how much I missed out on. Also, being told as nauseum growing up how “loving” of a choice my bio mother made in giving me away really made me believe that there was this fantasy Mom out there who loved me tremendously. Meeting her and over the years coming to realize that my adoption had nothing to do with love and everything to do with a stupid teenager who was more concerned about whether “any boy would ever want me” than she was about my welfare and who continues to care more about what the neighbors think than she does about me was traumatic beyond anything I ever have experienced —and I’ve experienced a LOT.
Confusion. Have had my heart broken again and again by birth mother. Depressing
I was better off not knowing.
My birth mother sent me a letter about 8 months into our reunion saying, you look like your father, we cannot have a relationship, have a nice life and if you contact your brothers it will be an unforgivable act. My birth fathers wife spoke for him and said we could only have a reunion if I remained a secret. That didn’t happen. So she made him cut all ties.
My experience has been very positive. I am blessed with a very good relationship with my older half sister and her extended family.
*The survey summary will be published in a few days. Stay tuned.