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  • 16-01-2007 9:35pm
    Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 32,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭

    I'll start the ball rolling.....

    I'm adopted and 32 years of age. I grew up in a large family, who mean the world to me. I sought my birthmum a few years ago and after a long and difficult search finally found her. I have several siblings who I have never met, but would love to.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 7,458 Mod ✭✭✭✭CathyMoran


    I am 32 and my husband is adopted. One of my relatives was a birth mother, I tried and failed to find that relative but I have never stopped thinking about him/her. I have adopted cousins and friends also.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,634 ✭✭✭Kolodny


    I'm not adopted myself but out there somewhere I have an older half-sister (my mum's first child) who was adopted who I've never met. My mum has not had any contact with her since the adoption and doesn't talk about it much as I think it's a very painful memory for her (I only found out when I was 15). I always been quite curious to know what my half-sister is like and have often wondered if she will ever try to find my mum. It would be nice to meet her one day.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1 AnnieSchueler


    I am 27 and adopted. I met my birthmom when I was 19. I never met my b-dad or my siblings so far. Although it would be easy, for some reason I just don't contact those guys.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,131 ✭✭✭holly_johnson

    I'm 33 and adopted. I grew up in a fantastic loving home.
    I met my birth mother when I was 18 and traced my birth father who was Dutch. It took 5 years to find him. Sadly he had died, but I visited his grave in Holland.
    Things didn't really work out between my birth mother and I (she has two children and wouldn't tell them about me) but it was a very rewarding experience and one that I would gladly repeat.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5 Conrod

    My birth mother is from Offaly and I was adopted in London, through the Crusade of Rescue at 6 months of age in the summer of 1959.
    With the help of the CoR (now the Catholic Childrens Society), we traced my birth mother's current address. The CCS spoke on the phone to her on my behalf and forwarded on a letter I had written to her. Unfortunately, her husband had died recently, and she couldn't face telling her other children about me, so we have never met. It's tempting to go down just to see what she looks like, but I dont think that would be right.
    Hope this isnt too long an intro. :rolleyes:

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,131 ✭✭✭holly_johnson

    Conrod wrote:
    My birth mother is from Offaly and I was adopted in London, through the Crusade of Rescue at 6 months of age in the summer of 1959.
    With the help of the CoR (now the Catholic Childrens Society), we traced my birth mother's current address. The CCS spoke on the phone to her on my behalf and forwarded on a letter I had written to her. Unfortunately, her husband had died recently, and she couldn't face telling her other children about me, so we have never met. It's tempting to go down just to see what she looks like, but I dont think that would be right.
    Hope this isnt too long an intro. :rolleyes:

    Not too long an intro at all ;)
    How long ago is it since you sent the letter? I suppose about 6 months or a year would be time enough to leave it. It's hard to know in these situations, but I wouldn't leave it any longer than that if it was me. These things can get put on the long finger so to speak, and the more time that passes, the less inclined you are to do anything about it. It would be a shame if it fizzled out after getting so far.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,232 ✭✭✭neilled

    Neil, age 20. Adopted from Taiwan at age 1 yr and have lived in northern ireland for most of my life, now in dublin for college. Went to meet birthmother and siblings two years ago. Have had contact since then.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,131 ✭✭✭holly_johnson

    Hi Neil,

    Welcome and thanks for sharing your story. It sounds fascinating, I'd love to hear more about how you traced your birth family!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1 Anne123

    Hi all, I am an adoptive parent. I adopted my 1st daughter in 2002 when she was 4 months old, and my 2nd daughter in 2005 when she was 2 months old. Both girls are adopted from Vietnam. I would be more than happy to help anyone needing info or advise on intercountry adoption.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,433 ✭✭✭kittenkiller


    I'm 24 and although I've often wondered about my birth-relatives, I've never followed through and tried to find any of them.
    I seem to be relying on "the right time" to start looking.
    I figure when I'm ready I'll just know and start then.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,485 ✭✭✭✭Ickle Magoo


    I've just turned 30 & altho I've often thought about my blood-relatives, I've never done anything to track any of them down short of get, & read, my social work/adoption file which was closed until I was 18 & only requested about 4 or 5 yrs ago.

    It's an odd situation in that I've never been separated from my sister & we were adopted together so I actually have a blood relative in my life but we now know (from our files) that we have 3 other siblings we don't know as well us our birth-parents...we know we have an older brother who was in & out of care, us (11months apart) who were removed & placed in care for 3yrs & then adopted by the same people & then we have a younger sister & brother who were removed at birth. We were all either in care or adopted due to severe & prolonged neglect & so I have no interest in tracking down my parents but I often think about my siblings & other rellies...

    Adoption leaves you with a funny dilemma, eh? I feel very grateful for the love & support I've been given by my adoptive family & that gratitude for something every child deserves without question also makes me very angry. I also don't know if I have the right to go meddling in the lives of siblings who may well not know their history...:(

    It's reassuring to hear other people are going through the same quandries! :)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 492 ✭✭The Queen

    Hi all.... My mother is adopted. She has contacted her birth-mothers brother, with whom she now gets on very well with. They have both contacted(well. tried) her birth mam who basically wants nothing to do with her. She(the birth mam) lives in England. She wouldn't come home to her own mothers funeral here in Ireland in case she had to meet my mam....

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2 dfishy


    I'm 27 years old and have only a few weeks back been contacted by the adoption services about my birth mother wanting to take contact. I'm still in the process of working towards a meeting, we have exchanged our first letter but nothing more so far. Not bloody easy either tbh...

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,131 ✭✭✭holly_johnson

    Well done for deciding to find out more. it's not an easy decision to make. I understand that it is a difficult process, but hang in there and hopefully all will work out well. Keep us updated!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,077 ✭✭✭smurph

    First post in this Forum so I am a little bit nervous. Im 39 years of age and come from a family where all three of us were adopted. From a very young age we knew we were adopted.At the age of 23 I decided to start searching for my natural mother. I was adopted through an agency in United Kingdom so I thought that it would be easy. Unfortunately like alot of things in life, its never as easy as you first think.

    Altough I was adopted from London, it was through an Irish Adoption agenccy so I was covered by Irish Adoption Laws. I was taken into a room in South Anne Street, and the lady told me that My mother was 5Ft 1, her first name was mary, I was 711bs when I was born, and that was all the information she could give me. I was devestated, and after nearly a year of investigation and basically harrasing the people in the agency in London, I found my mothers name. I wrote to her, and after a very tentative few months we started writing regularly.

    She was from Northern Ireland, and moved over to London. She had a 3year old son when I was born and he was an albino and was sick in hospital quite a bit. She was 27 when she gave me up for adoption. She had a son 3 years after she gave me up for adoption.

    I met her just the once, although we regularly wrote to eachother.

    I never told my Mam that I had found my natural mother because I new that it would upset her so much, she would feel that she had done something wrong. It is hard to explain it but it was just something that I had to do.

    Anyway my natural mother passed away in 1998. I found out afterwards that she had not told her 2 sons about me, they found out abut me after the funeral. I met them once or twice but I got a strong feeling from them that they thought I was after money or something. None of this was true, and I was terriby upset.

    Although I was delighted that I met my mam, I am still left with more questions than answers,

    Why did she not tell her sons about me.
    Was she ashamed of me.
    I never found out anything about my father.

    These are things that I will just have to work through.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,131 ✭✭✭holly_johnson

    Thanks for posting and welcome.

    What a hard time you have had. I think in one way or another all of us adoptees have had a hard time. The journey is never a smooth one, but I still believe it is rewarding.
    You have lots of unanswered questions but you did find out who your birth mother was, and I think that is probably the most important one. I'm sorry that she passed away before you could get to know her properly.
    As for your two half-brothers, it's hard for her two sons to reconcile their mum with someone who could keep something so important from them I bet. The sad thing about all of this is the amount of secrets people keep. I am in the same boat too.
    Keep your chin up, and don't give up contact with your half-brothers if you want to keep going!

  • Registered Users Posts: 121 ✭✭MaryMagdalene

    Hi all, I'm a birth mother!

    22 years ago I gave my daughter up for adoption. It was a dreadful shame in 1985 so I can only imagine what older birth mothers went through.

    Contact or not - I think I want to but am afraid. What if she rejects me? What if she doesn't? What will she expect? What will I tell people? How do I introduce her? What do I say about her father? Will she expect me to speak to him? How will it affect me and my husband and our life? How will it affect her half sister? I spent so much time in thepary over the years trying to forget, do I want to remember again? So many fears.... it's not easy whichever side of the Triangle you are resting against.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 32,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭The_Conductor

    Hi Mary,

    Its great that you are considering things- I am sure that your daughter would be thrilled to hear from you.

    A good first step would be to contact the Adoption Authority and organise to fill out the Adoption Contact Preference Register- if your daughter has contacted them or does at some future point she will automatically be matched with you (and you can decide in advance what level of contact you would like initially).

    From speaking to my own birthmum I can well imagine what it was like being a single mother all those years ago and what it would have entailed. You can decide how to tell your daughter and what to tell her when the time is right. While I cannot tell whether your daughter will reject you, it is quite possible that she will be thrilled to know that you have never forgotten about her and are ready to welcome her to be a part of your life again. You don't have to tell anyone anything- if and when you do decide to talk to people, it will be a very personal thing that you will doubtless decide how to manage at that time.

    Doubtless your daughter will have questions regarding her father and will probably appreciate any information you may be able to give her, but I doubt that she would expect you to have contact with him yourself.

    There really is no way that anyone can guess how this may affect your husband and your other daughter- hopefully your husband will be a strong pillar of support to you and help you. Hopefully he will be willing to accept your elder daughter into the family. Your younger daughter may be thrilled to discover a sibling she never knew she had- or alternatively she may not be too happy to find that she is no longer the eldest child and possibly fear that her position in the family is somehow being usurped? There really is no way of telling.

    These are all bridges that you will have no idea what is on the other side until you actually cross them.

    While I am adopted myself, I can relate to years of trying to forget and hide things- though I can only imagine how difficult things have been for you. The biggest fear of all however, is fear of the unknown.

    I wish you strength in whatever you decide to do.

    Best wishes,

    Hi all, I'm a birth mother!

    22 years ago I gave my daughter up for adoption. It was a dreadful shame in 1985 so I can only imagine what older birth mothers went through.

    Contact or not - I think I want to but am afraid. What if she rejects me? What if she doesn't? What will she expect? What will I tell people? How do I introduce her? What do I say about her father? Will she expect me to speak to him? How will it affect me and my husband and our life? How will it affect her half sister? I spent so much time in thepary over the years trying to forget, do I want to remember again? So many fears.... it's not easy whichever side of the Triangle you are resting against.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,958 ✭✭✭DJ_Spider

    :D Hi al, I know it's late, (or early!?) But I have been thinking about this for a long time. I was adopted at the age of 6 weeks. I am now 41 and used to live in the UK. I had an extemely loving family and was always given the best they could manage. The prime reason for this was that when my adoptive mother went to pick me up from the adoption agency, my bith mother said 'you will look after him and love him wont you?' My mother made a promise to her and kept it.

    Now I am going to waffle a bit but just feel I need to discuss this. I know a lot about my natural mother, she was 19, a trainee nurse at Colchester hospital in Essex, she was engaged to a guy who was a operator on the switchboard. When she told him they were expecting a child he left her. She came from a very posh family and her mother was in the bridge club, WI, ladies circle etc, but she was an embarresment. She told her to get out until 'she got rid of it'

    I know what I would have been called if she had kept me and it was kept by my adoptive parents as my middle name. I also know what my surname would have been. Thornton, now here's something that has always got my thinking. I LOVE chocolate, I can't get enough of it! Maybe if I hadn't been adopted, when I was 21 my mother would have said, 'You are now the Chairman of Thornton's chocolates' I would have replied 'OK, just going to do some quality control!' Ah well I can dream eh?

    I believe that as she was a nurse and taught to save life not take it she couldn't 'get rid' of me. It must have been hell not having any support from her family and going through pregnancy on her own. Then to go through labour and have her child taken away must have been gut wrenching.

    Her father tried to stand by her but got earache from her mother. He was a public relations officer and had his own company. I think that's why I like showing off! A few years ago think I managed to trace my birth mother on friends reunited but as I wasn't a member I couldn't contact her.

    Just before I left the UK I was living in a homeless hostel, (please don't judge me) One criteria for staying there was that you had to avail of councelling as most people were there who were alcoholics, drug users, petty criminals etc. Now I have NONE of those and am pretty respectable. (I know self praise is no praise!) But I discussed it with my keyworker and she said visit the local social services. I did this and poured my heart out to a social worker. And yes I even shed a few tears. (funny how I feel comfortable telling absolute strangers this!?)

    When I came to live here, I contacted the social services back in the UK and told them what had happened. They gave me details of Banardos who would give me councelling before I was allowed to trace my birthmother. I have had enough bloody councelling to last me a lifetime, maybe because I am still a UK citizen I am covered by UK laws, but I wish I didn't have to go and tell someone everything that I have told numerous councellors already.

    So after all this what i would like to say is this, is there any way i can bypass the drackonion laws of the UK, (which I believed had been changed to make it easier for people to contact adoptive relatives?) and just find any records of my adoption?

    I know that my birthmother went into a home for unmarried mothers in Essex, and when I first started using the web I managed to contact them and although it's a private house now, they still have all the records and allow people to visit. But I lost all the details.

    I would like to visit it sometime, but my new partner, (who supports me with all her heart and understands - god I love her!) is not keen on flying! But maybe we should save up and do it so I can 'lay some ghosts' as they say. So even if I never find my birthmother I can at least get some closure.

    I sometimes get thinking maybe it's better I don't find her, she has probably remarried, got a family and I hope is happy. Also when I was a bit of a rebel and got in with the wrong crowd, I was on probabtion. I discussed this with my probation officer and she said something that has always stalled me in finding her. 'If you met her, what 3 questions would you ask?' She said. Well I wouldn't ask anything, i would just say 'thankyou' That's all that needs to be said. Oh and can I have my backdated allowence? LOL Sorry fighting tears her don't want my partner asking me why!

    Thankyou for reading my longwinded post and I wish all of you the best in finding what you are looking for.

    AKA Paul

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3 grungefreak

    Hi I'm 33 and was adopted at 1 and a half yrs old. I sent a form into the Contact preference register 2 yrs ago and heard nothing since. I have kids now and just want to know my medical history, am I entitled to this information by law?

    Can anyone advise please?


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 32,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭The_Conductor

    Hi I'm 33 and was adopted at 1 and a half yrs old. I sent a form into the Contact preference register 2 yrs ago and heard nothing since. I have kids now and just want to know my medical history, am I entitled to this information by law?

    Can anyone advise please?


    Hi Grungefreak- unfortunately you're not entitled to anything by law, which is frustrating as hell...... In general, if you contact the Adoption Authority they should be in a position to tell you which of the adoption agencies organised your adoption. If you then contact the original adoption agency- they should be in a position to release "non-identifying information" to you- which would include any medical information they might have on file, along with details on your birthmum (what part of the country she was from, whether she had brothers and sisters, her age when she had you, and other little bits of information that might be of interest to you- without identifying her.

    Best of good luck to you! Shane

  • Registered Users Posts: 121 ✭✭MaryMagdalene

    Hi Grungdfreak,

    On there is also a contact register you can sign up to.

    As Shane said, your Mother lmight have left you some info on file re. your medical history. I did for my daughter. Good luck in your quest.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8 twinkle99

    Just came across this thread not sure if anyone still out there but the stories are fascniating.
    I am also adopted and I started the whole search and reunion process in 1999 -- I had no idea how hard it would be and how long it would take but to anyone that is starting this process please don't give up if you want any specific tips or info feel free to contact me directly.

    For me the whole process was mental as my birth mother and father got married and had 3 kids -- this meant I had a whole blood related family out there (yikes) I've met all of them relations are difficult but I never expected an Oprah style reunion and wasn't looking for it either -- the main thing I think you get from this process is just working out who you are (I know I sound like a therapist) but seriously it is important -- even down the basics of finding someone that looks like you can be important.
    I'm lucky because I'm from a brilliant adopted family there are 4 of us and we are all adopted my brother and sister are mixed race so dinner in our house is a bit like a UN convention!

    usefull links are already provided in other threads, but if you want some reading material to help see you through its worth researching some on amazon. I found Primal Wound really helpfull can't remember the author.

    Talk soon.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8 twinkle99

    Hi Grungefreak

    I know you've sent off your info to the contact centre thing (that wasn't around when I started) but there are some loopholes you can avail of to find some info.
    I went to the births deaths and marriages place on Pearse Street and got my own real birth cert!

    Official line from the boardroom gits in the adoption board is that adopted people do not have the right to obtain their own birth certs.:mad:
    However you can go into the birth cert office with your date of birth and place of birth if you have it tell them your trying to trace family members or your a tourist or something -- they'll give you a load of old books with birth entries and just look for all the father unkown ones with your date of birth.
    I did it and it and found mine -- the staff were lovely they copped on that I was adopted but said nothing. What freaked me out though was that I had a whole other name! -- but it felt good to be able to see my birth entry, my mothers name etc.

    HOwever I would not advise that you take it any further than that like don't go tracking her down by yourself or anything you really need the help of professionals during the whole process.

    If you don't know what adoption agency you came from the Adoption Board of Ireland will have to have some record of this -- you can then call your agency and ask for an appointment with a social worker.
    Best of luck with it and I really hope it works for you.
    I started out like you just looking for medical history and a bit of info but it all sort of spiralled from there but I'm glad I did it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2 x_manxie_x

    erm not sure what to write really cos i'm new to this lol
    i'm adopted and have had a great interest in my birth parents and background ever since i can remember, i'm 17 so i know i can't access anything yet...although i already have a lot of information on both my birth parents and my life with them before i was adopted including their full names and my birth name.
    my adopted mum always changes the subject when i bring it up although she says she is not hurt by it...some people who know about my adoption have said it would be selfish to search for my birth parents but i can't ignore the interest i have to find them. i'm not sure if i do want face to face contact but maybe one meeting would be nice just to see who they are.
    is there any way i could find out if they are both alive still or do i have to wait till i search for them?? my birth mum was adopted also and she never wanted to trace her birth parents, so i'm told, so she might want me to do the same but i dunno :confused:
    i don't need to access my birth cert or anything because i know what my name was etc. so i'm not sure what the next step is was never talked about with my adopted mum even though i've tried

    does anyone have any advice to what i should do to trace them when i'm a bit older?? i'm a bit lost lol :(

    thanks :) bit of a long passage there lol

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,131 ✭✭✭holly_johnson

    Hi there and welcome.

    Deciding whether to trace or not is a decision entirely for you and no-one should influence you either way. For someone to say it's a selfish thing to do, that's just wrong and hurtful.
    I can understand your Mum being upset about it, my Mum vas very upset, she thought I was going to leave her when i found my "real" mum, which of course was never the case.

    In terms of tracing, there are several methods you can use. Have a look at this thread for some useful links:

    Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2 x_manxie_x

    thanks for the advice...yeah it was a bit hurtful when they said it was selfish because they aren't adopted so i don't see how they know what it's like

    just got to wait till i'm 18 now to start searching :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 74 ✭✭lilyrose

    im 22 n adopted i have been thinking recently about trying tocontactmy birth mother but is it bad for metoexpect herto makethe first moves?

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 32,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭The_Conductor

    lilyrose wrote:
    im 22 n adopted i have been thinking recently about trying tocontactmy birth mother but is it bad for metoexpect herto makethe first moves?

    Hi Lilyrose- to be quite honest, its not a good idea to expect anything. Its entirely possible that your birthmum may make the first move- but its equally as possible that she may be terrified of trying to contact you- there simply is no way to tell. A very good first step is to contact the agency who originally organised your adoption and request non-identifying information from them. This will give you a brief introduction to your birthmum and perhaps give you some vague information about her extended family. The adoption authority also have a contact preference register where you can tell them that you are interested in your birthmum and if she is interested in contact too- what level of contact you are interested in (if she contacts them then- they will make a match and introduce you to each other). Details of that are here.

    Finally- it is entirely possible to start a search for your birthmum of your own accord. Details of how to go about that are here. (Note: this is a microsoft word document)

    The very best of good luck to you whatever you decide to do. Feel free to post here with any questions you may have- or for any advice or guidance that any of us may be able to offer.

    Kind regards,


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  • Registered Users Posts: 24 Tempelton

    Hi there folks,

    (First of all, sorry if I go on a bit here - I am just a blabber mouth I fear...)

    I am 30 years old and adopted. I have known of my adoption since I was seven years old. However, it was only in the last year - since moving back to Dublin from London - that I actively started searching for my birth mother. I scheduled a meeting with the Adoption Board (AB), since the agency that placed me with my adoptive parents is now dissolved, at the start of 2007. The people at the AB were pleasant and somewhat helpful, telling me (after some prodding by me) some basic non-identifying info - which, by the way, they should readily supply to any adopted person they hold files for...

    They told me that they would instigate a search for my mother. When I called a few times, they had no news for me - no progress had apparently been made. Then I got a call from the AB that informed me that they had finally completed the first stage of the search (finding my birth cert, then my mother's birth cert). However, the AB also mentioned that the paper trail went cold and that no progress had been made beyond that point. Basically, the way to trace an adoptive parent is to find the child's original birth cert and then, from that, you will have the mother's name. You can then trace her through her birth cert and, if applicable, her marriage cert. This allows you to (hopefully) locate her most recent address and then to contact her. However, the AB informed me that she was apparently no longer at the most recent address that was registered with the records office (from her marriage in 1990) and so, the trail had gone cold.

    After several more (increasingly irate) phonecalls from me, I was basically told that I was not a priority case and that I would have to wait. The reason I was "not a priority case" was that my mother had not put her details forward for the recently launched contact registry and thus, they (the AB) were giving priority to those who had. Tough luck - get in line, in short...

    So, about three weeks ago I decided that enough is enough - I'm going to find her myself. So, off I set to Joyce House in Dublin (note: the records office has now shifted to the Ilac Centre) to find what I could find...

    And now, for those of you who are SERIOUSLY bored and have nothing better to do), what follows is a 2-part account (taken from my posts on the Adoption-Ireland forum of how I traced my mother and where I am in the process now). Perhaps it will be useful for any of you forging ahead with your own trace:

    Part 1
    Today I went to Joyce House and delved into the books for the year of my
    birth. I believe I found what I am looking for under the surname
    H****. My name is Mark H**** (which chimes with the "slightly
    unusual surname" line the adoption board fed me). I was born on the
    4th February, 1977. My mother's name is Aileen.

    I checked through all the rest of the books (hard as it was, once I
    had found the above entry). I did find one other Mark born in Dublin
    on the same day - but I didn't pay it much heed since the surname
    and maiden name of the parents were different. I know my mother
    wasn't married and on the H***** entry, the surname and maiden name
    were the same.


    I got a copy of my birth cert, whereupon I learnt my mother's name
    was Aileen. I knew I was on the right path, since the birth cert
    said she was employed as a "nurse's attendant", which I already

    Then I went searching for her birth cert. Unfortunately, someone
    else there was hogging all of the books for the years I wanted to
    search through (around 1958). So, I skipped straight to the
    marriages. I vaguely remembered being told she had gotten married a
    fair few years later. So I searched from the mid-80's onwards. I
    eventually found an entry recording the marriage of Aileen H***y to
    Martin O'K****e on the 8th September 1990. I then got a copy of that

    I then skipped back to the birth cert books (which had become
    available again), searching for my mother's birth cert. I knew she
    was supposed to be 19 (if memory serves me correctly) when I was
    born. So I obviously searching for Aileen H**** in 1958.

    But nothing. I went through 1956/7/8/9 and 1960 but no cigar. Lots
    of H****s getting married for sure, but no Aileen. My wife (who is
    American and should not know these things) told me that a lot of
    women back in the 70's, and beyond, in Ireland would often use their
    middle names before marriage? Has anyone else heard of this? So,
    using this as a reference, I did find a Susan A. H**** born in the
    2nd quater of 1958.

    Not only does this chime with the birth date of Aileen H***** -
    listed on the marriage certificate as 4th April, 1958 - but also,
    the mother of Susan A. H**** and Aileen H**** shared the same maiden
    name: Duffy.

    It sounds like a match to me! If not, how can I explain the
    apparent lack of a birth cert for my mother (unless she was either
    vastly older or younger than I have hitherto been led to believe)?

    It was late in the day by that stage - too late to get a birth cert
    for the Susan A. H**** entry. I obviously need to get this next, in
    the hope that it will confirm a few details (such as her parent's
    forenames, which I need to compare to the ones listed on the
    marriage cert).

    If that is a match then, due to it being the correct year, it surely
    must be her. If it does match, then I will try
    to find if they have had any kids (for recent address purposes).

    The plot thickens...

    Postscript: I did return to Joyce House a few days later and did indeed locate my mother's birth cert - the details tallied with those shown on the marriage cert, (i.e. same parental names). I also discovered that she, apparently, did not have any kids at any stage. Whilst interesting knowledge, this also meant that it would be difficult to locate her. You see, I already knew she had moved from the address she was living at at the time of her marriage (in Bayside). If she had moved and then had a kid, I would then have been able to locate her new address when the birth was registered. But since I found no such registration under her and her spouse's names, I was out of luck. What next?

    Part 2:
    Well, I found my mum's current address today.

    Already armed with her full name, I located her through the land
    registry (and by searching by her maiden name, after a search for
    her married name proved fruitless). It seems she has been living in
    Swords since 1994. In 2002 she reverted to her maiden name - this
    could be due to divorce or separation (or the death of her spouse -
    who, by the way, was almost certainly not my father). I also found her
    name on the most recent electoral register and this was also under
    her maiden name - and for the same address. The other slightly strange thing is that she has reverted to the first name listed on her birth cert once more (despite not using it on my birth cert or on her marriage cert). I
    am still sure it is her though, as to be otherwise would require
    unlikely levels of coincidence.

    I have contacted the social worker I've been working with at the
    adoption board (who I made peace with last week, after a few
    difficult phonecalls). I'm going to be sending her a copy of all my
    findings, and she will then be writing to my mother on my behalf. I
    figure this is the best way to approach her - no doubt she would be
    shocked at the prospect of my lumbering presence abruptly exploding
    into her life.

    But, the point is, it's her!

    I highly recommend that people keep the land registry in mind when
    conducting a trace. Basically, most people who buy a property
    anywhere in the Republic of Ireland register those details (both
    husband and wife in most cases too) with the land registry. Just
    like Joyce House, these records are then open to the public for
    searching purposes. There are four offices in central Dublin, each
    one dealing with certain counties of Ireland. The one I went to (for
    Dublin) was on Nassau Street. I just went to the desk and the
    infinitely nice lady helped me find what I was looking for in a
    matter of minutes. So, if you have a birth mother or father's name
    but can't locate them in Joyce House records, I highly recommend
    doing a search at the land registry. You can read more about it here:

    So, that's my story so far. I have written my letter and copied the documents to send to the social worker at the AB. I tried to impress upon her in the letter that I would not be waiting indefinitely for her to act - and that I was demanding priority. It appears to be the worst nightmare of the AB to contemplate any adopted person attempting to make contact with a parent themselves, so perhaps (as is my plan) that will inspire them to move quickly. If not, then I might need to find an alternative way to make (subtle) contact myself.

    Either way, the journey is underway. Who knows where it will lead. I know it might not work out (the story of my life - I expect as much) but I still need to do this. I never thought the feelings would grow so strong as they have done over the past few weeks and months (extremely intense), but others have reassured me that this is part and parcel of what you must inevitably go through. I hope it works out. Maybe she won't even reply. If she does, maybe we will be strangers even if we meet. But I can't let what might happen prevent me from walking through this door that I have spent all of my life moving towards.

    p.s. If you made it this far, take a bow! :)