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Published Monday July 13th, 2009 at 5:59pm

Original Article by Lorraine Dusky

While Jane is writing the next part of her story, we have more interesting data on how birth/first mothers react to learning they are being sought by their children they relinquished for adoption. But first, a personal note:

Like one of our regular readers, Maryanne, I revolted when I learned that the adoption records and my daughter's birth certificate would be sealed to her after her eighteenth birthday, and began quietly searching for her when she was quite young. Okay, as soon as I read about Florence Fisher and the Adoptees Liberty Movement Association (ALMA) in the New York Times on July 25, 1972 in a story headlined: Adopted Children Who Wonder, "What Was Mother Like?" (Note: those interested will probably have to pay to read the piece, as it is in the Times archive.)

Reading the piece it was as if the scales fell from my eyes. My daughter was six years old. I did not realize it then, but that was the day in my heart that I began searching for her. And within the year, I met Florence, began writing about the adoption reform movement, and tried various means to find my daughter's new identity, but all were unsuccessful. I did not formally institute a search for my daughter until she was fifteen, and because all other avenues had been blocked, I simply paid $1,200 to "The Searcher," as he was known, and within weeks had her name, address and phone number, along with that of her parents. They were in a state (Wisconsin) a thousand miles from where I lived on Long Island, New York.

It turned out that he had already found her, and had done the search based on what I had written in Birthmark. I had put all the significant clues in there, hoping her adoptive family would find them, and reach out to me. Wishful thinking, I know. Later I did learn that someone had told my daughter's adoptive mother about Birthmark, but she chose to ignore it. I do not know if the person who suggested she read my memoir saw the similarities in my relinquishment, and their adoption, of a daughter in Rochester, New York on 1966.

But hey, if it was a friend or family member, they had to know the age of their daughter, and where she was today I'm going to assume that person was aware that Jane was likely to be the adopted daughter in question. And Mary (my daughter's other mother) did not want to pursue the matter. Remember, this is way back in the dark ages of 1979. Reunions were rare. Very rare.

So, I was what is known as a "seeker" mother; fellow bloggers at FirstMotherForum, Jane and Linda, were sought. Linda was called directly by her daughter and reacted positively immediately, as she has written earlier at FMF; Jane was contacted by an aunt and had a more difficult and lengthy internal emotional process to go through before she was ready for reunion, as she told us in the previous post. But no matter how we reacted to the situation, all three of us became staunch supporters of giving adopted people their original birth records--hell, we're in favor of adoptions never being closed!

Are we anti-adoption? Let me put it this way: I'm not against some form of adoption when the natural mother and her family are totally and completely unable to care for the child. But I have seen too much pain and destruction on the part of both birth/first mothers and adopted people to be much in favor on "adoption" without a zillion caveats. It was just this tone of mine that got me banned from a website chat room of blissful birth mothers called "Adoption Voices." (And by the way, I was invited to join the chat.)

Except for the one first mother who was in an open adoption and eight years later cried buckets when she looked at the son's pictures, or got on the plane after a visit, they were all quite content and happy to have provided a child to complete someone else's family. I posted a couple of times, trying to inject some reality into their gaga stuff I was reading, but whadda know, the administrator yanked me off; told me that the site was about "adoption, not anti-adoption." Linda did some spade work and discovered that a number of the birth mothers posting were...from Utah, the Land of the LDS, The Church of the Latter Day Saints. No comment. Readers might want to join Adoption Voices themselves. I've found other birth mother chat rooms are often supported by an adoption agency....looking for birth mothers who want to tell other birth mothers what a great thing they did.