Why Open Adoption? Part I: A Closed Adoption

My daughter was six weeks old when placed in my arms by her third foster mother. Her birthmother had voluntarily relinquished her to the County Department of Social Services (DSS), but DSS had not made any adoption plan for this healthy baby. She was beautiful with large brown eyes and thick dark brown hair. We had been told her mother was stunningly beautiful and looking at our daughter we believed that must be true.

The county provided us with basic information about our daughter’s birthmother, including her height, weight, hair color, and religion. They also told us she was of Persian descent. There was no medical information at all. Fortunately, my daughter was healthy, remarkably so, but I quickly found out that having no medical information meant that every visit to the doctor was an ordeal frequently resulting in unnecessary and painful tests. I would often weep holding my screaming daughter as she endured these procedures.

I quickly resolved to find her birth family. I needed to know medical information, and I thought finding her birthmother would be an easy task. After all, I accidently discovered my daughter’s birth name, and was able to quickly locate her original birth certificate listing the name of her birthmother. Little did I know the arduous and painful journey ahead of me.

Over the next eleven and a half years I hired eight different private detectives, including one in Europe after I discovered her birthmother may have immigrated from there. I wrote letters, made phone calls and visited every address that might provide a lead. I also did innumerable on-line searches, set up a website, and got assistance from many “search angels” who volunteer to help individuals searching for birth family members.

Time passed and my daughter grew up. She was beautiful, but she also had innate abilities in math and science that seemed both miraculous and slightly out of place in our artistically oriented family. She would frequently look in the mirror and wonder whom did she look like. Other times she would ask, “Do you think my birthmother loves me?” I would always nod, yes, but she would respond, “Then why did she place me for adoption?” This always made me cry. I wanted to give her the answers she was craving, but no matter how much I loved her I could not. CONTINUE TO PART 2.

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