One mother's perspective on the right to search

I do not see it as a matter of rights, everyone and no-one have the "right" to search, or rather, both mothers and adoptees search, whether they have that right or not. That is not the question.

Some search, some do not. It is a deeply personal choice, from both sides. To adoptees (that feel nothing tells them more that they were loved than being searched for), mothers searching do not necessarily care more than mothers who wait to be found. Many of us who searched, and especially those like me who searched for young adoptees, did so out of our own needs as much as concern for the child.

I do not see myself as more noble or loving than mothers I know who were found but did not search, just more desperate at an earlier age. My son did not want to be found or to search. He was not pining for me, and it did nothing for him at the time, me showing up when he was too young.

Mothers who surrendered should search if they feel the need, but they should be aware not all adoptees are eager to be found any more than all birth mothers are. There are good reasons to search, and for some, good reasons not to. There is no "right" to search, it is a choice that should be made with clear vision and careful considerations of the pros and cons.

I am glad I found my son. I wish I had waited many more years to make contact. I cannot advise others to do as I have done, as I regret so much of it. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have the relationship with my son that I have now, in spite of all the mistakes.


  1. Powerful stuff. Thanks for posting it.

  2. At the same time, there is the opposite experience. Thanks to open records in B.C., I was able to obtain my son's adoptive name when he was 19. I contacted him, and hugged him for the very first time 1 day before his 20th birthday. Other than the abuse he received from his adoptive parents, who used abuse to pressure him in an attempt to end our reunion because of their possessiveness and selfishness, our reunion itself has been a dream come true.

    He turns 31 on Sunday. We are family once more. We will be reunited for 11 years.

    My son was not "pining" for me, but I feel that our reunion happened at the very best point in his life. He feels so also.

  3. yea adoptioncritic go get your baby! love that momma.

  4. I know several adoptees and mothers who were rejected once they found. It's a very sad thing :-(

    From my perspective, the "right to search" means the right to have the same information everyone else does and the right to speak to others freely and work out your own relationships (or lack thereof) without legal measures that restrict you more than the rest of the population. My birth state as an example, with a Confidential Intermediary and multiple vetoes, does not allow constellation members to search and speak to each other privately and freely in the search process. That, to me, is a violation of all of our rights.

    The relationship part of reunion (or lack thereof) doesn't fall under the category of rights for me. It the equal responsibility and willingness (or lack thereof) of two people to maintain contact. She's right, it is really good to be aware that rejection is a possibility, unfortunately.


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