Finding 'mom' after all these years can widen family circles

Regarding the Jan. 13 article, "N.H. adoptees gain access to records": I am one of the rare individuals who had the opportunity to reunite with my son, whom I gave up for adoption in 1971. I received a phone call on my birthday in 2003 to say that my son was interested in contacting me. I consider that call a miracle and a huge gift.

My son's reentry to my life occurred at a time that was perfect for both of us. He's now 33 and newly married, ready to begin a family of his own. A void has been filled in both our lives. Miles separate us still but biology and love will bind us forever. I know that he was placed in a good family and that God provided him love, guidance, and a good education through an intelligent and sensitive placement.

I am unclear at this point what role I will play, if any, in my son's life but I rest easy now knowing that he grew up happy and loved, and that he's now happily married to a beautiful woman. For now, we have expanded the circle of love in both our lives.

Fear needs to be replaced by love.
Mary Kelly Guerin
San Diego

In 1991, the child I had relinquished as a baby for adoption found me, to our joy. Some people think birth mothers want confidentiality, but actually closed records was the only choice offered.

I think the National Council on Adoption and others - fearing that if adoptees and birth mothers love each other, this might lessen adoptees' love for their adoptive parents - are pushing red herrings with worries that adoptees may "not feel whole" or birth parents may feel "invaded." Why shouldn't adoptive parents just say, "We're afraid for ourselves - we love our child, too." Few birth mothers will deny them this right. But the kids and birth parents have rights to knowledge, too.
Paula Friedman
Mount Hood Parkdale, Ore.

I am a birth mother, reunited after 30 years with my only child, whom I gave up for adoption when I was 15. My decision to relinquish my son had nothing to do with any assurance of confidentiality. I gave up my son because I was far too young and immature to care for him. I did not want confidentiality then, and I do not want it now.

Birth mothers never forget; they carry the distress of the relinquishment with them forever. They just don't "go on with their lives." Only a reunion with their child will heal this. The truth sets us free.

I can also unequivocally tell you that adopted children do suffer from not knowing their birth families. They grow up with a feeling of disconnectedness that can only be healed by a reunion with the birth family.

The bond between the birth mother and her child will never be broken. They will always look for each other. If prospective adoptive parents can't handle this fact of life, they should not adopt.
Anne Weeks
Bartow, Fla.

Though some adopted people feel "they're incomplete if they do not reunite," not all feel that way. Those that do, however, should have the right to reunite if they wish - without the constraints of sealed records.

Thirty-one years after I relinquished my son, I got a phone call one night from a stranger - a social worker who told me that my son was searching for me. I was that stereotypical birth mother who had not told anyone of my relinquished son - not even my husband or other children.

Sealed records are unnecessary and unjust. Mothers do not need "protection" from their children.

I wake up every morning now and am thankful that my son was courageous and curious enough to thwart the system and find me!
Jan Baker
Sierra Madre, Calif.

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