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jeeb
04-12-2007, 11:08 PM
Hi All,
A friend was adopted in the late 1940's as a baby. She was told she was adopted from an early age but a 'stoney silence' has always surrounded the circumstances. With difficulty I think I have almost certainly discovered her real birth certificate and the name of her mother. I have also fairly certainly tracked down the mother's birth in 1926 which means she may be still alive. My friend is eager to find out more but there is a stumbling block. Her adoptive father remarried after the death of his first wife and the second wife is still alive and states quite clearly it was her late husband's wishes that his adopted daughter (my friend) does not know the truth of her birth. The second wife hints she knows but won't divulge anything. I suspect the moral issues of the time come into it.
Do you think we should all have the moral & legal right to know our true parentage when possible? I do.

Jeremy

Mike_E
04-12-2007, 11:16 PM
Q. - Does your friend want to know who her birth parents were?

Q. - Did you come by the information in publicly available place?

If you answered yes to both of these questions, then I think she has the right to know. I don't think the second wife should be able to dictate to your friend.

If it was me, I'd like to know. This is my own personal view.

jeeb
04-12-2007, 11:39 PM
Q. - Does your friend want to know who her birth parents were?

Q. - Did you come by the information in publicly available place?

If you answered yes to both of these questions, then I think she has the right to know. I don't think the second wife should be able to dictate to your friend.

If it was me, I'd like to know. This is my own personal view.


Thanks Mike, I agree, my friend does have the right to know and yes she does want to know. I have found the birth certificate from snippets of information my friend was able to give me. The surname is the same as on her adoption certificate but not the christian name and the birthdate is correct. The address on the certificate is the same as a house where she was shown as her birthplace by her adoptive mother at an early age. (This I find a strange thing for the adoptive mother to have done) The second wife insists on keeping to her late husband's wishes.
The mother's name on the birth certificate was not very common which has enabled me to locate her birth too. There seems an obvious answer to this but I don't think it is the case!

Jeremy

Mutley
04-12-2007, 11:50 PM
When I became interested in the 'family history' I joined Genes Reunited, first port of call it was, then. I came across a posting from a woman looking for her father. From the information she had, I knew without a doubt, that it was my uncle.

I stared and stared at the request, what should I do? I felt so sorry for her. She will not find him from what little knowledge she had.

However, her birth was 50 years ago, his wife, children and grandchildren do not know anything about this child. He was a young teenager at the time (we were roughly the same age) and I just have vague memories of the 'trouble'.

I have done nothing, not told him, nor her. I do not know if I am right or wrong to do nothing. I know he would not want to know and I would not like his family, especially his children, to be upset by this. It is a worry that I carry.

Are there step siblings, who else would be involved if you told what you know. Is there a wider picture. How many people could be hurt?

A very hard decision, I wish you luck.....

suedent
05-12-2007, 1:07 AM
I think that if the information is in the public domain then she should know. After all if it had been she, rather than you, that had learnt how to search the indexes etc she would have found the information for herself.

It would be an entirely different scenario should she have been unaware of the situation and you had uncovered it.

Whilst doing my research I have uncovered a few skeletons but unless someone makes a specific request (indicating that they knew the true situation rather than the family line) I keep quiet. There is no point upsetting people unecessarily.

For instance, I knew that my late mother-in-law's mother was in all likelihood illegitimate (& her great-grandmother was definitely illegitimate) but there was no point raising the issue with her as she was completely oblivious and it would have caused unecessary upset.

v.wells
05-12-2007, 1:19 AM
If the adoptee is of legal age it doesn't matter whether the second wife likes it or not. It's none of her business. Just my opinion. Anyway, there are free National Registries to submit information and if both parties are looking for each other and agree then information is interchanged between them.

Pam Downes
05-12-2007, 1:49 AM
Slightly O/T to the actual question, but I wonder if the adoptive father didn't want your friend to know the truth about her birth because either (a) he was actually the father, (b) she was the result of a one-night stand and apart from a first name, father's name completely unknown, (c) father was a big-time criminal or (d) she was the result of her mother being raped. (a) and (b) I think most of us could probably cope with. (c) would depend on the crime - GBH is one thing, murder completely different. But if it was (d) how many of us could really cope with that?
On the other hand, which is worse - knowing the circumstances, whatever they are, or not knowing?
Pam

Diane Grant-Salmon
05-12-2007, 6:22 AM
Just my personal opinion, but I agree 100% with two messages posted in this thread.

The first by BoPeep: I believe that everyone, should they so chose, has the right to know their parentage.

The second by Vanessa: If the adoptee is of legal age it doesn't matter whether the second wife likes it or not. It's none of her business.

Peter Goodey
05-12-2007, 7:53 AM
An adoptee has a legal 'right to know'.

http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/adoptions/

Jem2109
05-12-2007, 9:43 AM
2 weeks ago a lady contacted me through GR saying that my Gran gave her up for adoption in 1943, my Gran has a very rare surname, and her forenames together are unique in the uk with the surname so it had to be her.

I was shocked but picked up the phone and called my dad and aunt straight away because I was scared that if I waited I would "bottle it", I was terrified of upsetting them. Dad (53) and Aunty (49) were surprised, but within less than 5 minutes both had said that if Y wanted to meet them they are happy to, they both took the news a lot better than I did delivering it, in fact aunty said she'd always wondered because Gran was so much older when she had dad and her. My cousins reaction was "wow, I've got an aunty!"

The run up to Christmas is a busy period for dad so it'll be after christmas when we meet, but not one of my family were upset by the revelation, instead they want to welcome this lady, sadly gran passed away 2 years ago so a lot of questions may remain unanswered as non of us had any inkling about Y.

Your friend has a right to know, all Y wants is to know is what gran was like, and to have a photo, not much to ask for after 64 years, is it.

joette
05-12-2007, 12:22 PM
It used to be that adopted children as adult were the only people & often the adoptive parents too who had a legal right to know about their birth-parentage,often how where & in what circumstances they were concevied(how many parents here have given that information to their off-spring?)As adoptees were oft times given their Adoption file to read with no censorship involved,no thought that perhaps a birth Mother may have information she might have wanted to keep to herself or explain to her child when she was ready.Oft times the info is inaccurate or a Social Workers opinion as to what they think are the facts.
Also Birth Parents had no Legal Right to any information as to how,where or even if their child was still alive.I have at least two friends who discovered their child was in fact dead,had been dead since childhood & they had never been told of this.One in fact was killed by their adopted parent.They may have signed away any legal rights to this info but they never ever lose the moral right to this info unless off course they harmed their child.
Luckilly the law has changed & they have a legal right to help to search for their child & any info that Social Services may have.

Yes I agree that everybody has the right to know their Parentage if known-in fact I feel very passionatelty so.I do agree however that there are some things that a parent may want to keep from that said child & I don't think they have the right to know every circumstance around their birth & adoption.Sometimes it is just too painful or too damaging.

maggie_4_7
05-12-2007, 3:42 PM
Q. - Does your friend want to know who her birth parents were?

Q. - Did you come by the information in publicly available place?

If you answered yes to both of these questions, then I think she has the right to know. I don't think the second wife should be able to dictate to your friend.

If it was me, I'd like to know. This is my own personal view.

Agrees entirely with Mike_E.

xx

Maggie

Davran
05-12-2007, 4:19 PM
I have two friends who were adopted. One contacted her birth family and was welcomed by both parents and siblings - unusually the parents had given her up for adoption and subsequently married when their circumstances had improved.

The other friend found out who her birth mother was and discovered half-siblings, but didn't make contact. She never found her birth father because he was an unknown American who was over here with the forces.

I think everyone has the right to know who their parents were - there are issues of possible incest for one thing. It must be so difficult wondering why you were adopted when you were a baby and if you were loved or not. Such a hard decision to make for the mother/parents.

jeeb
05-12-2007, 4:42 PM
Hi All,
Thankyou very much for all your very honest replies, the general concensus seems to agree with me that my friend has the right to know. Pam, I think has probably touched on the truth. Most of you seem to say that if the information is in the public domain then my friend has the right to know. Her birth was certainly registered by her natural mother but her adoption papers have a different Christian name, I cannot decide if that was the first step to deceive. What is not in the public domain as far as I am aware is the name of the father and here is where the difficulty arises. The step mother has hinted she knows but intends to keep her late husband's wishes and won't pass on any further information. From this one would be forgiven for thinking that the adoptive father is the real father and I have not completely over-ruled that idea but there is a spanner in the works. An old aunt of my friends (now dead) let slip that her real father, like her, was a doctor and her adoptive father was never in the medical profession.

Jeremy

bimbadeen
14-12-2007, 6:38 PM
Jeremy

my husband was adopted about 1944 aged 7 , he knew his birth mother until then but when he was adopted she dropped out of the scene , in his fifties he decided he would like to know more of his background . We consulted Social Services who were most helpful ,his original birth certificate only showed his mother . We traced her date of birth and through a friend of a friend managed to trace where she could be living BUT and a big BUT she would be in her 90's by then and we had to tread very carefully .

We wrote to the address given ,carefully explaining that he didn't want to cause any upset but would like to meet her if it was possible ...we visited her and she was bubbling with excitement , as was my husband ,he found out his fathers name and occupation and his birth mother was going to see us again. However we got a letter from her explaining that her family were still alive and that they knew nothing of my husbands birth and that she would prefer not to keep the contact going .. my husband was upset but agreed not to see her again ,however we used to send her a Christmas and birthday card with just a name and phone no on .

We were advised by the home where she lived when she died and consulting Social Services they said they could see no harm in contacting relations . We did this to their total surprise and met them ,they could see the resemblance of my husband to his mother ,had photos of her and of his father and we are still in contact with his cousin and his family .

jeeb
14-12-2007, 7:58 PM
Hi Bimbadeen,
Thank you for sharing your story with us. You and your husband were lucky that in the end things turned out reasonably well for you both and your husband quite rightly found out his true birth. I am pleased that his relations accepted him into the family. A similar thing has recently happened with another friend who like your husband discovered his real mother and step brother and sister in his fifties, he too was welcomed like the long lost son that he was.
The friend mentioned in the previous thread, her husband and 3 children in their twenties are eager to find out more about her natural birth and she has sent away for birth certificates of her natural mother and what we assume will be her two uncles. The dilemma arises from the obvious secrecy surrounding her birth and the reasons, whatever they be, for doing so. I cannot find a marriage or death recorded for her mother so it is possible she is still alive and in her early 80's. It would be easy just to publish her name on sites like this and see if anyone knows of her whereabouts but I must respect the ladies wishes and remain silent. I cannot think how else to locate her. My friend though desperately keen to find her mother respects and agrees with my decision.

Jeremy

bimbadeen
15-12-2007, 5:01 PM
Jeremy

Don't know if it still holds but when we got my husbands details he HAD to have Social Services"counselling" I presume that this is to check motives for wanting the information and to safeguard the birth parents in case they have said that they do not want any contact ...I don't think that there was any charge , but they may have more information on record which your friend can tap into .They can certainly advise on approaches to the mother particularly as she will be in her 80's ... Does your friend have any idea of her mothers previous occupation and where she lived...voters lists could help trace her and most people are on the phone nowadays .

jeeb
15-12-2007, 5:10 PM
Hi Bimbadeen,
We know the mother's occupation and abode from her birth certificate but that was in the late 1940's. The surname is fairly common which makes telephone directories difficult. The christian name was unusual which leads us to believe we found the right mother. That is interesting what you say about the councelling. My friend is a doctor so is probably aware of such but has not mentioned it to me.

Jeremy

Ladkyis
15-12-2007, 5:52 PM
Hi All,
Her birth was certainly registered by her natural mother but her adoption papers have a different Christian name, I cannot decide if that was the first step to deceive.

I doubt it was done to deceive, When my friend adopted twin boys she changed their names because she could not bear the thought of 'her' sons growing up with names she hadn't chosen for them.
They were told this from an early age and accepted it without any comment.

You mention that the adoptive mother showed the child the house where she was born. This seems to me to be a very sensible adoptive mother, she was giving 'her' daughter a background. When the school bullies tried to intimidate by picking on the adoption the child had a come back
"Where were you born then? I was born in Coldra Road" that sort of thing. I suspect that adoptive dad felt more insecure about losing his precious daughter if she learnt about her birth mother - everyone can be insecure about these things sometimes and in that Macho manly way he thought that saying nothing would stop it happening. The second wife I suspect is just trying to wield a little power, she has none but wants some.

Just my four pennorth

bimbadeen
15-12-2007, 6:06 PM
Jeremy going out for evening so got to go prepare but tomorrow if I can I will find the paperwork we had for my husband re the counselling etc and I will post on here for you .

jeeb
16-12-2007, 11:27 AM
I doubt it was done to deceive, When my friend adopted twin boys she changed their names because she could not bear the thought of 'her' sons growing up with names she hadn't chosen for them.
They were told this from an early age and accepted it without any comment.

You mention that the adoptive mother showed the child the house where she was born. This seems to me to be a very sensible adoptive mother, she was giving 'her' daughter a background. When the school bullies tried to intimidate by picking on the adoption the child had a come back
"Where were you born then? I was born in Coldra Road" that sort of thing. I suspect that adoptive dad felt more insecure about losing his precious daughter if she learnt about her birth mother - everyone can be insecure about these things sometimes and in that Macho manly way he thought that saying nothing would stop it happening. The second wife I suspect is just trying to wield a little power, she has none but wants some.

Just my four pennorth


Thank you Ladykis for you reply, it is always good to have another perspective. The reason I mentioned I thought it strange that the adoptive mother showed the child the house where she was born was that a shroud of mystery has always surrounded her birth and although the adoptive parents told their daughter that she was adopted they claimed to have no real knowledge of her true parentage, so if that is the case how did the adoptive mother know the house where the child was born?
I posed this question again to my friend last night and her reply was even more intriquing, apparently when she told me her adoptive mother had shown her where she was born, it wasn't the house she had meant but the adoptive mother had taken her and shown her an actual hospital bed in a hospital in Yorkshire, yet she was six weeks old when she was adopted!

Jeremy

Pam Downes
17-12-2007, 10:26 PM
Tuesday 18th December at 10.35pm BBC1. 'Reunited'
Radio Times lists it as a 'moving documentary following three women in their quests to find a parent who left in mysterious circumstances when they were tiny children'.
Focuses more on the emotional aspects of these reunions than the practicalities.
Pam

bimbadeen
19-12-2007, 8:37 PM
Hi Jeremy

got back to you at last ..have been looking through the paperwork and trying to find out why my husband had to have counselling ...I think in 1995 it was the way things were done .
We contacted the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) 0151 4714313 Southport for a full birth certificate.
they in turn referred us to the Adopted Children Register and OPCS referred my husbands application to the Leicestershire Social Services Adoption team and they applied to the appropiate authority for details of his adoption and birth details , unfortunately all the paper work was destryed during the war . The Counsellor came and interviwed my husband at our house and was a very sympathetic man ..He gave us the paperwork to contact NORCAP (National Organisation for Counselling Adoptees and Parents (March 1996) 01865 875000. They sent us a lot of useful information ,but as I said originally a friend of a friend came up with a list of all my husbands birth mothers surnames and initials and addresses and we were able to go through the list and then highlight the likely ones , consulted the phone directory for the area and spoke to the lady concerned . [I] no longer have contact with this person so cannot refer you to them .

The Counsellor kept in touch and again as said ,when we were notified of my husband's birth mothers death ,the counsellor could see no harm in making contact with her relations which we did and were well received .

Whether this is the way things are done nowadays I don't know .The FFHS also have a useful booklet Tracing the Natural Parents of Adopted Persons .

Good luck .

idredge
28-01-2008, 12:27 PM
It breaks my heart to hear all these stories, then I realise how lucky I am.

I am sure that the adopted children still love their adopted parents but the need to know where they are from stands out. There are lots of reasons why children were adopted but if they could think past that and say the past is past lets start from today it might help, maybe there is a reason for the mother not wanting to remember, it could bring back painful memories. Siblings do seem to cope very well with knowing on the whole. My cousin found his brother after 40 years, they were not adopted but lived with one parent after the split. The younger one didn't know of the elder brothers and he welcomed being in touch. But he can't forget that he didn't know his father. We who haven't been through it can't fully understand what they are feeling even advise though it might help doesn't answer all the questions they long to ask. We may feel we would act differently but would we.

So tread carefully take one day at a time. I wish you all good luck.

Irene

p.duvall
28-01-2008, 6:29 PM
after reading your thread on adopted children i think only your friend can make the decision as to weather or not she wants to find out more but the stepmother or anyone else should not dictate and i think weather anyone else wants her to know doesent come into it if anyone knows anything at all then i think they should tell her everything and leave the rest up to her as i think everyone has the right to know who they are and where they come from

geo55
28-01-2008, 6:42 PM
Pam just got in there first ,I had the same things going through my mind also.
I do think your friend has the right to know ,and its none of the other womans concern.This is only my own opinion;)

busymemarie
28-01-2008, 7:43 PM
Hi there. I was adopted from the age of 6months old. My Mam and Dad were wonderful in every way. l belonged to a family who loved and cared. I was told of my adoption at the age of about 10yrs. It was a complete fluke how it came about. A school friend stated she was adopted, and me, not understanding exactly what it was about asked my parents if l was. Now a good catholic family could not lie when being inocently questioned. So, they advised me that l was but knew nothing about my birth mother. They were just so pleased to have been given me. To me that was not a problem. At the age of 34 and Mam still alive at 76yrs l decided l would like to get to know my Roots and so made enquires with the Adoption Society. They furnished me with my original birth cert, this only had my mothers name on it and where she resided at the time l was born. I set out on the trail of finding her from the info l was given. To cut a long story short l was able to contact her by phone and timidly stated who l was. She, at first denied knowing of the name but then , l think melted slightly inside and replyed . Oh! my Marie. l never thought l would here from you. l was told you would never be able to find me. 20 years on and we have only seen or spoke a few times. She is very bitter about the circumstances she was forced into giving me away. She point blank refuses to advise me of my Natural Father, It does hurt a little at times because l know that she has family photos which as the only surviving member of the family l would like. but then again i`m a middle age woman and many rivers i have crossed and life goes on, we make it what we can. no point in dwelling what may have been. Incidently l spoke to my MAM shortly afterwards and explained what l had done, gone and found my birth mother. Please beleive me when l say she was concerned and disapointed for me that my birth mother did not really want to know. Mam even offered to go and speak with her but l said it wasnt necessary . SO YES WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHO WE COME FROM BIRTHWISE. BUT AS LONG AS WE ARE PREPARED TO FACE REJECTION FROM OUR BIRTH PARENT OR PARENTS IT WOULD BE A FOOLISH THING TO SET OUT AND DO. I do hope anyone out there reading this will find it helpful.

Robert
29-01-2008, 8:04 PM
I certainly do believe we have the right to know who our birth parents are/were. They are the most important reason we are on this earth - they gave us life. Having discovered who our parents are/were we are then at liberty to make of this information what we wish, but that will be our decision and should be no one elses. What bugs me is that you can bet someone knows the truth but the person themselves, and this in my opinion is wrong. Also, a decision made many years ago may have no relevance in the future. I know that the truth about the circumstances of my birth was kept from me because it would have upset the rest of the family had it become common knowledge. Now after 61 years this information is still denied me with no one alive now who could have told me. I am bloody angry that such information would have upset them. Why, it`s my life not theres. Bob

jeeb
29-01-2008, 11:32 PM
Thankyou to all who have responded to this thread and your heartfelt replies. It is especially good to get opinions from those of you who have been adopted or don't know the whole truth of their birth. I agree with Marie and have advised my friend that if she does find her real mother she must be prepared for rejection a second time.

Robert, I can see you are angry and I sympathize with you and understand your frustration, I would feel the same. It is true that it is your life and you should be aware of the whole facts of your birth - but this can be a difficult one because others, sometimes innocent parties, may get hurt by a revelation they knew nothing about.

I have allowed my friend to read your replies and she now feels she wishes to persue the truth but knows it will be difficult if not impossible because tracks have been covered. Though my friend would prefer her step mother's cooperation she has reached the same decision as most of you have advised and will go on regardless as she feels that this woman has no right to keep evidence from her, even though it was her adopted father's last wish.

Again many thanks to all.
Jeremy

SBSFamilyhistory
30-01-2008, 10:34 AM
I agree that your friend does have the right to be given this information.

However when this information is forthcomming from whatever source this may be she may need a lot of support from her friends.

Good luck and I hope she finds the information she is looking for.

I had an aquence who did this.

He found out that the person he thought of as his sister was his mother.. okay this happens a lot you may think but the man he knew as his father was not his grandfather as you may have thought but yes it was his father. His father had died before he obtained this information and although he had always been told he was adopted the identity of his parents was always withheld. He had always been angry about this prior to obtaining the information and then he knew why...but once he knew he could pretend he didn't. He has said part of him wished that he had not found out.

Sue

joette
30-01-2008, 4:23 PM
And there lies the rub!

Still I would rather know my origins for the good or bad than not. I cannot imagine the lonlieness of not knowing where you come from,who you look like & why your birth parents couldn't/wouldn't keep you.

I am lucky that I was born into a close,loving family & knew my parents,siblings,Aunts & Uncles,Grandparents & Great,cousins I knew my family stories & how & where I was born.This gives a sure sense of identity & can only imagine that many adopted people do not have this no matter how loving & secure their adoptive home.
I have a cousin who is adopted(?) we are not sure but suspect they may actually be a pre-marital child but nobody could care less we love them as if they were our own but as to how they feel??

lmabey
30-01-2008, 4:49 PM
I do believe that we have the right to know our parents, not just for the obvious, but often, as is becoming more common these days, this can be of great use when treating or diagnosing medical conditions.

waspexile
17-02-2008, 5:10 PM
This is one of the most thoughtful threads I have read on the forum.

Recently I have been looking at "modern" bits of the family. One of my dads snippets of info was that one of his cousins had a baby by an American/Canadian soldier while married to someone else during WW2 and as far as he knew she was "drummed out of town" at the time. Thats all he knows.

This must have happened thousands of time during the war (I guess there are proper figures somewhere)

Thanks to the internet I have discovered the child (still alive) the mother (passed away in the last few years), and that she seems to have kept her child and remarried much later. It would seem that she had a successful later life.

I have not had time to fully search the mystery father part which of course opens up a whole new set of questions - I can only guess at his name based on the childs name (which is very specific)

The lady in question had a sister who is still alive, who my dad is keen to contact as this would be one of only 2 cousins left alive.
Does this sister know of her siblings life since the war?
Does the child from the war know of the family who cut them off during the war?
Would he want to know?

These are not questions that are easily answered (in fact,they are not really my business)and I would not want to give a very senior citizen a heart attack.

Time for some thinking................

Sandyhall
17-02-2008, 7:38 PM
Hi all
found this thread very heart wrenching as its hit a bit of a nerve.
My ex-husband was adopted as a small child, his adoptive parents weren't very nice to him when he was growing up but thats another story. He decided to look for his birth mother 30 odd years ago just after the laws changed, he had to go through Social Services etc to get his birth cert. what he found was that his mother was raped by a older man as a young girl (he was caught and went to prison) her parents made her give him away. She then married and emigrated to Australia with her new husband had 3 more children. When my ex found out about her she had just Died in a car accident in Australia, ex went to meet his step brothers and sisters and has found a whole new family on the other side of the world.
Sad thing about this is my children don't have any grandparents as his adopted parents don't have anything to do with any of us now because he went to find her.

Wanda
18-02-2008, 12:07 PM
As a child, listening when i shouldn't have been and not getting the whole story, i knew something was different about me. I read a letter when i was about 6 that my father had written to someone but hadn't quite finished about changing my name. Well i wanted the same surname i had always had. I thought for some reason i wasn't good enough to have the same surname as my sisters nor my parents.
When we had rows i would always shout 'Your not my dad anyway' but i never knew what i was shouting in anger was true. Not till i was 15 when i needed to show my birth certificate for some exams at school.
I couldn't understand why my surname was different to the one i had always been known by. He wasn't my father!!
Then the memories of strange conversations and letter readings came back to me. Strange ladies on the bus when i visited my nan in Kent would say you know who her dad is by the eyes, weird because i had blue and he had brown, silly old women i would say.Then nan would say they mean your mum.
To this day i don't know who my dad is. Mum gives me this name, but its the same name as her twin sons, who were still born are known as! I have been told he is Chinese looking, i have been told he stole a mini and that's what got him in trouble and this is why my mum left him. I slightly believe this as my mum keep me. A single mum in the 60's, no help from parents, been in trouble would get help from the social services. She was 16 when she fell for me , then to a mother and baby hostel after my birth. She has also told me his two friends names, but funnily enough they are the same names as the two men who have always lived next door to her!!!
I feel i have a right to know who he is. I don't have the right to mess his life and that of his family but just to know would be nice.I would also like to know if i have half siblings as well.
I feel more hurt she wont tell me as i have helped her find her 7 bothers and sisters. Her parents, who sadly died very young she knows about through other family members.I even managed to get inquest reports for her dad and a picture of him via hours of searching newspaper records. ( He was run over).
We have also found out why her adoptive mum always thought she had traced her birth family. Hardly surprising when they (mum and dad )moved to a town three miles from her fathers home town. Then when i moved to the town 18 yrs ago she became more convinced we had contacted them but we didn't. We found this out after she'd died.We also found out they had died before my parents had moved to the area, but nan wasn't to know this.

I still might go to the Medway archives and search the papers to see if there is a report about the stolen mini , one of the newest cars at the time I'm told.
I did phone mum last week and say i am going to Kent, now is the time to tell me wherever or not i am the product of a one night stand (i am afraid i was that blunt, i felt it the only way). She gave me the same tale so, when i am brave i will go and look. Only brave cause knowing how many coincidents we have had in finding my mums family, my luck would be my relative working in the Medway archives, after all none of them here seem to like family history.

soosie
24-02-2008, 9:15 PM
I've been away from this site for a while, so haven't seen this thread before. Apologies for joining in so late.

I was adopted in 1956 as a 6 week old baby, brought up in a loving family, with the knowledge that I was chosen from a roomful of babies.
When the law changed in 1975, I was a student nurse. I knew that I woudn't be able to answer questions asked by Drs about previous family medical history if ever I should have children, or be in Hospital for any reason. I went to Social Services, and was well counselled (rejection, reaction by adoptive parents to knowledge that I was looking for birth parents, what if mother was a prostitute, what if mother was someone famous etc etc). They searched their records, and gave me sparse details of birth parents names and addresses at the time of my adoption, and the name they gave me. As I wasn't Christened, my Mum & Dad changed my name.
I was told that to search would be expensive, and as a typical student, I didn't have any speare cash, decided to leave it at that point, but it was always at the back of my mind.

1993, and recently married, I heard a radio programme about adoption, and contacted NORCAP - they are a must for anyone involved in adoption in any way, either as an adoptee, adoptive family, birth family. They were very helpful, and I picked up my search again, and it was remarkably easy as my birth family hadn't moved much. Got the certificates, spoke to my allocated intermediary, she checked my information and then she wrote to my birth mother, who had married my birth father after my adoption (birth father was married to someone else when I was born).
Tearful phone call later, they said that although they wanted to meet me more than anything, they also wanted it to be Ok with my family, as they had given up all rights to me. Visit to Dad (Mum had died, I hadn't purposefully waited, it was just the way it was) he was apprehensive that I'd go off with them, but as I reassured him, they were the people who had brought me up, stuck plasters on my knee, etc. They wrote to each other, and exchanged Christmas cards, which I thought was brilliant.
Lots of phone calls, letters, exchange of photos before we felt able to meet about 9 months after first contact. It was very strange meeting people who look like you, and to whom you have a strong connection, but yet you don't.

Yes I feel that you have a right to know who you are and where you come from, but it must be done right. I couldn't have done it without NORCAP, and they have been very supportive of my birth parents, who have a daughter who has found it impossible to meet me yet. She was an only child as far as she knew, and to find she has an elder sister, who has the same name (it was a popular one in the 1950's!) she's finding it difficult to cope with. We do exchange cards at birthdays & Christmas, so you never know. We also have an elder half sister from my birth fathers 1st marriage who I met last year, and we seem to get on well which was nice.

I have heard horror stories about people who just turn up on a doorstep, which I think isn't fair on anyone involved. Getting to know someone as important as your birth parents, and them getting to know the person they gave up before, needs to be done properly, and that's where people like NORCAP can advise & support the process properly.

Good luck to everyone involved.

jeeb
26-02-2008, 4:29 PM
Hi Everyone,
I am very grateful to all those who have contributed to this thread. My friend, who is the original adopted child in question, sat with tears in her eyes as she read through your responses and gained some strenght from the fact she is not the only one going through this dilemma.
After reading all your replies my friend decided she was determined to tackle her stepmother about her real parentage. For those who have not followed this thread from the beginning, the stepmother is the widowed wife of my friend's father who claims she knows the truth but refuses to say anything because of her late husband's wishes. Sadly the story now takes a new twist. My friend drove 200 miles to confront her stepmother only to discover the stepmother is terminally ill with little time left. The subject was never raised and my friend sees it as an omen that she is perhaps never to know the truth.

Jeremy

David Annis
26-02-2008, 5:03 PM
I have a friend who wishes to know her natural mothers name. She was born in the 1940s. She does not have a birth certificate and will not be allowed to see it or be given the right to have a copy untill she has had a meeting with a councilor because she was born before 1975.
The stigma still continues in this day and age.
Dave.

Wanda
27-02-2008, 1:02 PM
David, this happened to my mum, it was very easy to fix up with her own social services, albeit took them a while to get the ball rolling. Mum thinks it was worth it.The lady was more of a listening ear to my mum maybe because she realised it had been thought through and that she had the support of her family. Wanda

MythicalMarian
29-02-2008, 12:15 AM
Hi there. I was adopted from the age of 6months old. My Mam and Dad were wonderful in every way. l belonged to a family who loved and cared. I was told of my adoption at the age of about 10yrs. It was a complete fluke how it came about. A school friend stated she was adopted, and me, not understanding exactly what it was about asked my parents if l was. Now a good catholic family could not lie when being inocently questioned. So, they advised me that l was but knew nothing about my birth mother. They were just so pleased to have been given me. To me that was not a problem. At the age of 34 and Mam still alive at 76yrs l decided l would like to get to know my Roots and so made enquires with the Adoption Society. They furnished me with my original birth cert, this only had my mothers name on it and where she resided at the time l was born. I set out on the trail of finding her from the info l was given. To cut a long story short l was able to contact her by phone and timidly stated who l was. She, at first denied knowing of the name but then , l think melted slightly inside and replyed . Oh! my Marie. l never thought l would here from you. l was told you would never be able to find me. 20 years on and we have only seen or spoke a few times. She is very bitter about the circumstances she was forced into giving me away. She point blank refuses to advise me of my Natural Father, It does hurt a little at times because l know that she has family photos which as the only surviving member of the family l would like. but then again i`m a middle age woman and many rivers i have crossed and life goes on, we make it what we can. no point in dwelling what may have been. Incidently l spoke to my MAM shortly afterwards and explained what l had done, gone and found my birth mother. Please beleive me when l say she was concerned and disapointed for me that my birth mother did not really want to know. Mam even offered to go and speak with her but l said it wasnt necessary . SO YES WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHO WE COME FROM BIRTHWISE. BUT AS LONG AS WE ARE PREPARED TO FACE REJECTION FROM OUR BIRTH PARENT OR PARENTS IT WOULD BE A FOOLISH THING TO SET OUT AND DO. I do hope anyone out there reading this will find it helpful.

I actually have tears in my eyes reading this! Whilst I agree with the child's right to know in these cases, I can also put myself in the birth mother's shoes. I am sure that there are loads of us on here who are mums. Imagine what it must be like to be forced to give up your baby - I think it would have killed me - and I was never married to their Dad. Luckily, my two were born within the last 20 years when such things were not a consideration, but even 40 years ago things were so different. I would think a birth mother would always wonder - like the example above of 'Marie's' mum - that was the bit that made me cry! Yet, these women have buried all this suffering, and sometimes coming face to face with the child would be a disaster. There would be guilt, for one thing. Even though the mother had been perhaps forced into giving up her child, as a mother you must think 'How could I let that happen'?

In a perfect world I would think that the child has every right to know his/her birth parents, but it's the next step that gives me the most problems. Do you contact that birth parent or not? Their feelings have to be taken into consideration too.

It's not an easy one. If the adopted child contacts mum and suffers rejection yet again....couldn't this cause even more damage to child and parent? I confess, I have no answers - I think each case is unique and must be examined on its own. But good luck to all those trying to find their birth parents.

Peter_uk_can
29-02-2008, 6:10 AM
I presume that when this post was posted it invited opinions, so here is mine.

Personally I don't think that children have a "right", just as they don't have a "right" to prevent their parents from perhaps divorcing, changing jobs or deciding what religion they choose or type of burial they prefer.

A child can wish to find their birth parents and have the freedom to do so, however, I feel uneasy that an authority can make available records that were accepted as being confidential at the time they were created.

Whilst I accept that there may be a strong emotional aspect to this, there is a strong emotional aspect to many things in life. When my parents died, it was emotionally upsetting but I had no "rights" over when and where they should pass away. If I could have chosen then I would have delayed it, but the world didn't stop turning and like millions of others have experienced, life goes on.

Sometimes beating one's self over the head can begin to feel so normal that it may be difficult to reason that once the beating stops the pain will eventually go away.

jeeb
29-02-2008, 8:53 AM
I presume that when this post was posted it invited opinions, so here is mine.


A child can wish to find their birth parents and have the freedom to do so, however, I feel uneasy that an authority can make available records that were accepted as being confidential at the time they were created.


Hi Peter,
When I originally posted this thread I was indeed asking for opinions on whether we have a 'right' to know our parents?

You have hit upon the one concern I had, the rights of the birth mother. Most of those seeking their real parents do not know the circumstances and what they will discover. Like you, my only concern is the 'breaking of a confidentiality' no matter how long ago it was given and many replies have touched upon the point. Personally I feel everyone has a right to try and find their birth mother but I also agree the birth mother has a right to say 'no' and therefore I agree that anyone searching for their mother should only ever be allowed to do it through an intermediary body.

Jeremy

Janet Howell
27-06-2009, 5:22 PM
How different things are now. When I was adopted in 1942 it wasn't the thing to go into past details. My adoptive parents were very open with me about it but I waited until they had died until I traced my natural mother, also deceased by then. It would have upset them if I had looked for my natural mother. Apparently from the day I was handed over for adoption as a baby my natural mother never mentioned me again. Things were bottled up, stiff upper lips were the order of the day. What's done is done they thought. Janet

Nicolina
27-06-2009, 6:48 PM
your friend can apply for her adoption records, however there is a possibility that her birth parents are still alive and might not wish to have any contact.
There are also on-line registers where adoptees and families can register, and hopefully make contact.

Jane Gee
27-06-2009, 7:18 PM
I certainly do believe we have the right to know who our birth parents are/were. They are the most important reason we are on this earth - they gave us life. Having discovered who our parents are/were we are then at liberty to make of this information what we wish, but that will be our decision and should be no one elses. What bugs me is that you can bet someone knows the truth but the person themselves, and this in my opinion is wrong. Also, a decision made many years ago may have no relevance in the future. I know that the truth about the circumstances of my birth was kept from me because it would have upset the rest of the family had it become common knowledge. Now after 61 years this information is still denied me with no one alive now who could have told me. I am bloody angry that such information would have upset them. Why, it`s my life not theres. Bob

I have read all the comments and Bob I can only say that my husband and I have both said on many occasions what is going to happen in the future with all the different forms couples/single people can now get a child. There are bound to be some children who want to know where they come from another generation who may never know or have parents who cant understand why they have a need to know.
Jane

raineshoe
11-12-2009, 4:54 PM
I think everyone should know who their parents are if they want to. For better or worse. That, child whatever the reason is alive and living somewhere, and these things have a habit of coming out even if you do try and cover them up. Much better out in the open. I also think that people who have been adopted have a need to know such things as where they get particular traits from or blue eyes etc to get a form a closure. It doesn't mean to say they want to be bosom buddies with the birth family necessarily.

A friend was adopted and she found her family and now has her adopted family and her birth family. It all worked out well, but I can understand if a birth parent didn't want to see that child for whatever reason. I just think for the adopted child it puts a lot of ghosts to rest.

Good luck to anyone searching for birth parents I hope you all get some form of closure however it all turns out.

Marie C..
11-12-2009, 7:54 PM
Everyone has a right to know who their birth parents are. A child does not choose to be adopted. He/She as an adult may now have the choice he/she was denied in infancy; to fi know his/her birth parents.
What others think/feel is of no consequence. As for keeping a promise(made for whatever reason) to a dead man that is nonsensical. Dead men, if they NOW know anything see things from all perspectives and understand. If there is no life hereafter then a promise to a dead man meants nowt. M

jeeb
12-12-2009, 12:27 AM
If there is no life hereafter then a promise to a dead man meants nowt. M

Hi Marie,
Not sure that I totally agree with you on this one. The promise would have to have been made while the person was still alive, probably to a loved one with the intention that the person would keep the promise forever. If the secret is then told after death it still shows a lack of respect for someone who had trusted you in their life time and the fact a dead person can't answer for themselves should be considered.
However in this case some else's feelings need to be taken into account, ie the person trying to find her real parents. It is likely though that if the adoption father expressed that he never wanted his adopted daughter to know the truth I would quess he knew she would be hurt.

Since I first posed this question the 2nd wife has also died and she never revealed the truth.

Jeremy

raineshoe
12-12-2009, 7:22 AM
Oh dear. What a shame. For whatever the reason whether the truth hurts on not sometimes adopted people need to know. I think you can hurt people just as much by not revealing the truth. Once its all out in the open for good or bad is done then.

I do hope your friend gets this resolved in the end whatever the outcome. |hug|

Marie C..
12-12-2009, 9:05 AM
Fair enough! Jeremy,
My personal belief in a hereafter doesn't change my view that some promises should never have been made and that sometimes they need to be broken, depending on the greater good.
Hope something is resolved in your friend's case before too late.
Marie

v.wells
12-12-2009, 4:53 PM
Oh dear. What a shame. For whatever the reason whether the truth hurts on not sometimes adopted people need to know. I think you can hurt people just as much by not revealing the truth. Once its all out in the open for good or bad is done then.

I do hope your friend gets this resolved in the end whatever the outcome. |hug|

Ditto from me. Yes it is a personal question but it is disrespectful to ignore the needs of others!


Fair enough! Jeremy,
My personal belief in a hereafter doesn't change my view that some promises should never have been made and that sometimes they need to be broken, depending on the greater good.
Hope something is resolved in your friend's case before too late.
Marie

I agree Marie! I hope someone will be kind and courageous enough to resolve this for Jeremy's friend!

Lynda Marie
13-12-2009, 2:51 AM
I have followed this thread with interest. It is of interest because I am the person with the information surrounding the circumstances of a child being removed from his birth mother at the age of 5 months and it is not a pretty picture. This child is going to ask for details of his mother at some point in time. How much does he have the right to know? How do I protect him from all the gory details? How much do I help him to find his birth mother when he asks? What do I do with all of the documents that I possess that would give him his history? I don't want to be disrespectful of his need to know but how much is really enough?

I am not alone for I am very sure there are others out there in the same boat as I am.

v.wells
13-12-2009, 3:42 AM
You tell the truth in accordance to his age and maturity. Tell him if he wants to know more when he gets older you will tell him. Make sure all the documents are locked up for safe keeping in an envelope "to be opened at the age of 21". The truth hurts but that's reality - the world isn't made up of all perfect people.

If he ever wants to find his birth parent, cross that bridge when it's time. Put him in touch with the National Adoption Registry and he will only be contacted if the parent has put in such a request. And let him know it may be a reunion of great disappointment. It is his life and his choice to make.:)

He is fortunate to have been adopted at an early age instead of being bounced from one foster home to the next. Those stories fill me with sadness.

JAP1
13-12-2009, 4:20 AM
I guess that one thing to remember is that exactly the same (understandable) concerns arise regardless of whether a person is adopted or not i.e. if you are the holder of disturbing information (either personally or through careful genealogical research) about a person's forebears should you (whether that person is adopted or not) reveal it or keep it secret?

It can be so very very far from a black and white situation that I wouldn't dare to express any sort of yes/no opinion. I guess that all of us have to weigh up the particular circumstances of which we are aware and then live with whatever decision we make. And be prepared to review it over time and/or if circumstances change.

I'm thankful that I am not in the shoes of the thoughtful and compassionate posters who have told us that they have to make those decisions now.

JAP

JAP1
13-12-2009, 4:45 AM
Re the original concern, I think that the second wife - IF she made such a promise - should have kept completely and absolutely silent about it, and should NEVER have indicated that she knew the "truth" but couldn't reveal it. One has to question her motives in taunting the adoptee thus. Human nature is often not very nice. Perhaps she always desperately wanted to know the "truth" (may even have had suspicions - justified or not) but didn't actually know the "truth" - and that may be why she didn't (i.e. because she couldn't) convey it!

jeeb
13-12-2009, 10:54 AM
Re the original concern, I think that the second wife - IF she made such a promise - should have kept completely and absolutely silent about it, and should NEVER have indicated that she knew the "truth" but couldn't reveal it. One has to question her motives in taunting the adoptee thus. Human nature is often not very nice. Perhaps she always desperately wanted to know the "truth" (may even have had suspicions - justified or not) but didn't actually know the "truth" - and that may be why she didn't (i.e. because she couldn't) convey it!

You know Judith (JAP), that was exactly what I have always thought, to me it always seemed a rather unpleasant thing to do, dangling the carrot so to speak and I often wondered if there was some kind of jealousy behind the 2nd wife's remark in the first place. Whether she knew the whole story or not, she took it to her grave.

I am so pleased I started this thread because it has allowed so many members to share their often painful and personal feelings. Circumstances will always vary in each individual case so as to my original question 'Do we have the right to know our parents?' the answer can never be clear cut. The only thing all these people seeking parents will have in common is that none will have chosen how they were born and the old saying 'sins of the father upon the son' is very true. The truth is that not all children are born through choice of the parents either eg rape, incest or through unwanted pregnancies such as 'innocent' under age sex and 'forced' prostitution. Unfortunately anyone setting out on the adventure of finding an unknown parent runs the risk of not finding roses over the door.

Jeremy

v.wells
13-12-2009, 4:24 PM
Very wisely and articulately spoken Jeeb. Very good indeed! :)

raineshoe
13-12-2009, 4:59 PM
How much does he have the right to know? How do I protect him from all the gory details? How much do I help him to find his birth mother when he asks? What do I do with all of the documents that I possess that would give him his history?

I am not alone for I am very sure there are others out there in the same boat as I am.

I can see your side of it to Lynda Marie especially if the info is not too nice, however, no matter how bad this is having known someone who was adopted, I can't describe how strong the desire to know who, what, where, when is. I think all you can do is give the information to the person concerned and suggest they go through it with a close friend. Warn them that it may not be what they want to hear and may not be pleasant, but it is the truth. It may be very difficult for everyone concerned, but once its out it will be a lot easier for everyone to as nobody will have to watch what they say do in the future.

Yes promises are made sometimes thinking they are for the best, but for whose best is it? We all need to know where we came from and for adoptees I think they need to know why they were adopted. Also, these days people have far more open minds to the difficulties of being a single parent or whatever years ago and are more understanding as to why these things happened. It may not be as bad as you think it could be.

Good luck with whatever you decide. I am sure you will whatever you consider is the right thing in the end.

susan-y
13-12-2009, 5:09 PM
|hug|I have really enjoyed reading this thread since I discovered it yesterday|oopsredfa Its only been around "how long!"?

Anyway... I have friends and relatives on both sides of the fence...
A. Someone who gave up a baby and doesn't want to know him after all these 30+ years. She hung up the phone when she received a possible call from him.
B. Someone who doesn't want to know anything about her birth parents, even after 60+ years.
C.Someone who found her birth parents when she was in her 30's and had a great relationship with them ( as some other posters have pointed out--hers also married later and she has a brother she loves dearly)
D.Someone who has found her mother recently, her mother has a new life, but her grandparents were searching for her.
E. Someone who gave up her firstborn, later married the father, divorced him, but went on to search and find the daughter and has a great relationship with her.

You never know what will happen and has so often been said... every circumstance is different. I know I personally would want answers. Good luck to you all.. which ever paths are chosen. |hug|

Sue

Marie C..
13-12-2009, 7:11 PM
Husband's relative died suddenly this year. She refused to tell her son who his birth father was. At fifty he is trying to cope with a double-grief; that of his mother's death and the fact that it seems all hope is now gone for finding the man who fathered him.
There was no reason for the son not to know... the birth father even wanted to marry the mother but she refused and married another who gave the baby his name.

My niece was obliged to give her baby up for adoption. There was no reason for this. The family could easily have kept this baby. Her young mother grieved for years for her baby (as did my mother and I . We were half a world away and could do nothing... As each year went by we would say "it's H's birthday today" Is she well-loved?"
Twenty four years later that baby appeared on her birth mother's doorstep to be greeted with tears of joy. The girl had had a wonderful life but, with the blessing of her adoptive parents, wanted to find her roots... and did so.

The adoptive family had given her another name. It turns out to be the name of her 5xgreat grandmother.

So I maintain that people have the right to know their birth parents despite promises made or/silences broken or mistaken beliefs. M

geraldo
28-12-2009, 3:46 PM
I wholeheartedly agree that a child has a God given right to know who its father is.It's almost criminal that the information be kept from the person.
Gerry

bimbadeen
29-12-2009, 5:58 PM
I have followed this thread with interest. It is of interest because I am the person with the information surrounding the circumstances of a child being removed from his birth mother at the age of 5 months and it is not a pretty picture. This child is going to ask for details of his mother at some point in time. How much does he have the right to know? How do I protect him from all the gory details? How much do I help him to find his birth mother when he asks? What do I do with all of the documents that I possess that would give him his history? I don't want to be disrespectful of his need to know but how much is really enough?

I am not alone for I am very sure there are others out there in the same boat as I am.

Lynda Marie

My sister adopted two children back in the 60's both from doubtful parentage , when they were 4 and 2 or 3 years of age. My sister kept a book of things that she knew about them ,photos,paper work, school reports etc and was able to pass them to the children when they wanted to know more about their parents . They had not witnessed or been subjected to brutality ,they were lucky. Mum would disappear for a long weekend leaving the 4 year old in charge of himself and little sister.

You may have to help your child come to terms with his real parents and how he was treated ..there are people out there who will give advice to help you both ..use them when the time comes.