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Why did you start to trace?

  • 29-09-2009 11:52pm
    Registered Users Posts: 49

    I happened on this forum on boards kinda by adopted and I'm almost 22.
    I'm considering locating my birth mother, but not sure when. I've always said oh when such and such happen like when im 18 or when im finished college....but my reason for posting is : what made you want to find your birth mother/parents, was it scary(all the questions and what would you find out), did you feel it was worth while what ever the outcome?
    I'd really appreciate any comments/feedback and I hope the questions aren't too personal.

    Liz :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,483 ✭✭✭Ostrom

    Hi Shannone,

    I started around the same time as you (I am now 25).

    I began looking probably for the same mix of reasons you and most of the people I have known who have gone through the search and reunion process have said; curiosity, family history, complete sense of identity, (and the 'cool quest to discover your roots' aspect always makes it more exciting :) )

    It was always openly discussed amongst my family, so it was never a stressful process (except maybe in earlier years when I was feeling a little guilty about it - completely unfounded in hindsight). It was not scary for me - I did most of the groundwork on my own with my non-identifying information. When the time came to take it further, I had the help of a lovely woman from the HSE who coordinated every communication and detail, and facilitated the actual meeting.

    Last Sunday, four years since I started looking, I met my two half-sisters and brother, which was a very positive experience. I dont honestly feel all that different now (probably more to do with a huge workload at the moment - college doesn't help), but these things take a long time to process. It was scary, certainly with all the uncertainty before - thinking what kind of person she was, if the kids knew, if she wanted to see me, what my parents thought.

    Everything has worked out for the best, but my experience has been ideal. I have spoken with others who have not had such a good time of it, either through impossibly incomplete information, or finding parents who did not want to meet them. Overall though, most who do enter into it come out for the best one way or another - in my experience.

    What do you think about it at this stage - are you considering contacting the adoption agency?

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 61 ✭✭martinf

    Hi Shannone,

    Without being smart the best time to start is whenever you're ready. I started looking in my mid 20's mainly because of curiousity but also because anytime I went to the doctor and they looked for family history I didn't have any - in more ways than one! There are also probably as many experiences of tracing and reunion as there are people who have tried it ranging from the fantastic to the not so fantastic. I have been lucky enough in that I am in letter contact with my birth mother for a number of years now - she is afraid to meet in case it comes out but have found out that I have 7 full siblings all of whom were given up fopr adoption. I've met with three of them and am in contact with 2 others. This is a side that I had never considered when I started my search - nor the fact that I wasn't the oldest which I had assumed would be the case.

    From my point of view I tried to approach it that nothing that I found out reflected on me as a person. if my birth parents turned out to be axe murderers that was an issue for them and didn't change who I was the second before I found out. Conversely if they were the loveliest people in the world but I was really horrible I didn't suddenly become wonderful just because I found out that they were.

    I would say that it's worthwhile because once it pops into your mind it's difficult not to at least start. Try to be prepared for highs, lows, slow responses or sometimes really speedy progress - which can be just as difficult.

    I hope it all turns out well for you no matter what you decide.

    best wishes