Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Adoption Research

Have you ever been asked to try and locate an adopted person's natural parent? I have and it turned out to be so interesting. For privacy reasons, I'll call him Joe.

I'd been researching for many years when Joe mentioned to me that he was adopted. I asked him if he knew who his real mother was and he said that he had a name and knew that she'd tried to look after him at first but that due to circumstances (of slight neglect), she'd given him up for adoption at about 6months old. But he said, his adoptive mother was so good to him that he felt it would be a betrayal of her to look the woman up.

Years went by and I mentioned one day that if he was to decide to look her up, it had better be soon as Joe was approaching 60yrs himself and his mother must be at least 80yrs if she was still alive. He rang one day and said "do it".

I went the following day to the library in Auckland and spent about three hours in front of the fiche machine and found the whole family living in Auckland, half brothers and sisters, their married names etc. I'm sure it isn't this easy usually, Joe and I were just lucky.

With his permission, I rang his younger sister and made an appointment to see her. The old lady was still alive and living in New Lynn but I felt it might be too much of a shock to her. Her daughter, (I'll call her Lucy),was my age and any shock would be just that - shock-  not heart attack material.

When I arrived, Lucy was in the garden with her friend and her husband and the four of us sat down with coffee - all very civilized. Lucy was anxious to know why I'd come and I told her gently about Joe. I wasn't prepared for the result.  Lucy's husband said, I know Joe, he and I did................. and Lucy's friend said, I too know Joe, he taught my son to ....................... So the upshot was that the only person sitting there in the sunshine who didn't know Joe was his sister.

How about that?  I was shocked now in a nice way. Joe met his sister, his other siblings and his mother and all is well.

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