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Published Monday September 7th, 2009 at 2:16pm

Original Article by Shannan Koucherik

I am a birthmother. I relinquished my daughter in 1976 and never thought I would see her again. I never forgot her and spent years wondering what she looked like, how she was doing in school and whether she was happy and safe.

I had to endure the grief of having lost a child but had very little support in that loss.

Six years ago, my life changed when I received a call from the moderator of the Colorado Adoption Search group, telling me she had just spoken with my daughter. Within half an hour, I was on the phone with Shawna (not her birth name).

I had been searching for seven years — Shawna just happened to register herself on the Colorado Adoptees' Web site 24 hours before and discovered her statistics already were on the registry.

I will never take the place of Shawna's adoptive mother, but we have a good relationship, albeit long distance as she lives on the east coast. I have the blessing of a beautiful grandson and the peace of knowing that my daughter doesn't resent what I did so long ago but rather, appreciates my determination to do what was best for her, despite the consequences to me.

Trying to get adoptee information from the state of Colorado is extremely frustrating and very expensive. My daughter still can't get her original birth certificate because her father's name was on it and we have no idea where he is. Only if we can get his consent or prove that he is deceased can she get the record that belongs to her.

People trying to find a birth parent or relinquished child born in Colorado should contact the Colorado Adoption Search group (a Yahoo group) for free information, search angels and a free registry.

I hope that Rita and her mother enjoy the same relationship that my daughter and I do.

It is a relationship that is never taken for granted.