Ok I’ll admit it, my job makes me cry nearly every day. Telling one of our clients that we have found the person they are looking for is great. But when we tell them we have also contacted their birth mother and they are happy to have contact is awesome!
I did this just yesterday. I had identified the person I believed was the birth mother of our client Susan. Because the information Susan had was so sketchy we really couldn’t be 100% sure, though my instinct told me it was right.
Susan only knew the name of her birth mother and her approximate age at the time, which was 17. She was born in Nottingham and her mother had disappeared shortly after her birth and so no other information was known. Historically it’s common for people who were giving a child up for adoption to go elsewhere to give birth. Our searches indicated no reference to anyone by this name in the Nottingham area. This led us to believe that her mother most likely originated from elsewhere. We opened the search up to the whole of the UK and found only one birth record for that name who could have been 17 at the correct time. We then traced this person forward and found a marriage and subsequently a current address.
With Susan’s consent we wrote to this lady to ask if she could be the person we were looking for.
Just two days after posting our letter the lady called us and asked us what it was in relation to as we never state this reason in the letter. We don’t give any personal details to protect our client and the person we are writing to. In this instance we stated the name, age and location in Susan’s birth year. You see these are three fairly vague details but combined together by the correct person would result in them recognising what it might be about. If someone else in the household happens to open the letter, it would mean little to them.
When she confirmed she was Susan’s birth mother she broke down and became very emotional, but assured me she was incredibly happy and overwhelmed. Furthermore she explained she had been unable to have any children subsequently and this meant Susan was her only child. When a person is given for adoption birth relatives have no access to the records and generally speaking stand very little chance of being able to find them. At the time she would have been made aware that she would never have contact with Susan again and that Susan would not be able to contact her. In 1975 the law was changed to give adopted people the right to access their original birth record containing birth parents names, but many people are unaware of this.
Having dried my eyes from this conversation I then called our client to tell her the good news. With the lump still stuck in my throat from speaking to her mother I called Susan. Needless to say within seconds my eyes were welling up again, listening to our client crying her tears of joy. Susan told me that despite instructing us to locate her birth mother, her gut feeling was that she would never have the opportunity to find out who she was, let alone get to have contact with her.
Susan will be calling her mother tonight and has promised to get back to me to let me know how it went so I’ll be sure to keep you up to date when she gets back to me. If you are in a similar situation and want to know more about finding your birth mother click here.