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Published Tuesday November 3rd, 2009 at 1:08pm

Original Article by Emily Charrison


Matthew Ho found his birth family through Facebook.

Matthew Ho had no idea who his birth family was until he found them on Facebook a few weeks ago.

After a decade of frustrating deadends, in August the city resident set up a profile on the online social network using his biological surname, birth date and a photo.

Within a month he received a message from a woman who turned out to be his sister, and two days later he was speaking for the first time to his birth mother, who lives in Newcastle, NSW.

"We sent emails back and forth," Matthew, 32, says. "The first few were pretty detailed to make sure we had the right person and then it all came flooding out.

"When I finally spoke to my mother, it was the most profound moment of my life. It's really hard to describe, the whole thing has been such a whirlwind."

From the initial contact with his sister, Matthew was also able to track down his father, who now lives in Singapore.

"I found out he went by another name so I typed it into Facebook.

"I knew it was a long shot but then someone came up matching his description and age."

In about a month Matthew - who works at Haircare Australia - has gone from having no biological family to being the eldest of five brothers and two sisters.

He says the Facebook discovery has filled a life-long void.

"My (adopted) parents have been wonderful but there's always been a question mark. Right from when I was young I felt a yearning to know where I came from and who my biological family was."

Although he signed up to an adoption agency 10 years ago, through various reasons such as name changes, his parents were too hard to find.

"Those kinds of things take such a lot of time and energy.

"Being an adoptee, you can't predict how anything is going to turn out and you almost go in expecting that they might not want to revisit the past."

Next month, Matthew will travel to Sydney with his wife Rachel to meet his birth mother Christine and siblings.

"My mum's side all live in the Newcastle area so we've decided to go to Sydney on neutral ground.

"I've already met my sister a couple of weeks ago but it's such as massive thing for Christine because she's been wanting to meet me for 30 years."

National Adoption Awareness Week is on next month (November 16-22) to raise awareness, support and remove the stigma of adoption.

For more information log on to adoptionawarenessweek.com.au