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Published Saturday November 20th, 2010 at 5:34am

by baroness lbh

Finding out as an adult that I was adopted
Most people I know are told as soon as they can understand that they are adopted. I wasn't told until I was nearly 18 years old. But I knew something about me was different.

I was born in the early 1960's. My biological parents were 15 and 17 years old. They came from upper middle class backgrounds and came from the conservative mid-west. They created quite a scandal and people talked about it for a long time. I believe if they hadn't been upper middle class that this would not have been as scandalous. Back then, this usually didn't happen as often in the upper middle class.

I was born in Florida and promptly put up for adoption. Growing up I noticed that I looked nothing like the family I was raised in. No one in the 150 years of known pictures in our family had dark brown hair and blue eyes. Most family members had blonde hair blue eyes or dark brown hair and dark brown eyes or hazel eyes. When I mentioned to my mom that I looked nothing like the family, my mom took out a picture taken when she and my uncle were children. Neither one of them looked alike. However, they were clones of their parents. My mom looked like my grandmother, my uncle looked like my grandfather. This seemed to satisfy me at the time.

I had different interests. Although I was loved and felt loved, I knew something about me was different but never could put a finger on it. It was like something was there but it was hidden.

When I was almost 18 and had to have a birth certificate (I can't remember what for), I found out. My mother said nothing. When I noticed that it said I was born in Florida, rather than Illinois, she then told me. I was shocked out of my mind. She told me my jaw dropped and I was looking at her in disbelief. She told me that after having one child, it was too risky for her health to have another. It was difficult to do an adoption through the state because she had a living child and even though she couldn't have another child, the fact that she had a living healthy child made it difficult to adopt. Childless couples were preferred.

So a private one was done. At the time Florida and Texas were the best states to do private adoptions as there were no laws governing adoption and people pretty much did what they wanted. My dad could take it or leave it as far as children goes. He played no role in the adoption process.

So my older brother was her biological child and I was her adopted child. For the next couple of days I was in a fog. When I had dinner that night it was like I was somewhere else. My brother wasn't told I was adopted until he was 30 years old. He didn't seem to be surprised and it made sense to him since we were and are very different people. We're close but very different personality wise, interest wise, etc.

My mother never wanted to tell me (she had the old school adoption beliefs) and my grandmother was concerned about how I would react to it. She told me that she never would have told me unless she had to.

I never was angry about any of this. I accepted it. I was curious though about my biological parents. When I was 31 years old, my birth mother found me. A couple of months later I met my biological father. A lot of things now made sense.

What surprises me though is even though abortion was illegal in the 1960's, a lot of women had them (a lot more than you would ever imagine). A lot of women in the upper middle class or higher could find a doctor who would perform one and not mess them up or damage them. If they lived near a city, they usually could find a doctor . Many of them did that. Because of the way things were back then, a lot of women would rather risk dying or being injured than to be pregnant and people shaming them for getting pregnant out of wedlock. The back alley abortionist did a thriving business back then.

My birthmother moved to another town after I was born, but the story followed her there. It seemed to follow her everywhere even years after I was born. My birthfather's role was largely forgotten by the time he went to college. They were the talk of the region it seemed.  What is really something about this is I've talked with two individuals who lived in the same area where they did and the've told me the same story. Because the ages of my birthparent match as does the general time period, I'm 95% certain that they were talking about my birthparents.

I've wonder if others found out that they were adopted as adults and how they handled it emotonally. I handled it okay. I wonder if anyone had a similiar situation, one biological child, one adoted children and how it affected them and their family.