I come from a big family. Some of my cousins were adopted, and their parents let them know the truth about it early on. My adopted cousins are just as much a part of our family as my biological cousins. But it's also okay if my adopted cousins ever decided to find out more about their biological families.
According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, there were 119,514 children adopted in the States in 2012. Some states, like Ohio and New Jersey, also recently changed their laws to allow adopted kids to see their birth certificates under certain circumstances and, thus, learn the names of their biological parents.
Searching for the family who placed them for adoption, for whatever reason, can be both exhilarating and disappointing. It's natural to imagine what one's biological family is like. It could be a very happy reunion, the kind that we dream about, and that is certainly what I hope for these families.
These 22 people found their biological families and shared their stories on Reddit among other sites. Sometimes we just need to know more about our past so that we can understand ourselves better or appreciate who we have become. The search for biological parents could be said to be a search for one's sense of self.
22 Nathan Reconnected With His Biological Family From South Korea
Nathan Nowack wrote an article for Bored Panda about his experience of searching for his biological mother. He had been born in South Korea and was adopted by a family in Oklahoma, a world away from his biological mother. Nowack wanted to find out more about his birth family later on in life and tried to do so.
The search was not easy because it had been a closed adoption, but he was able to reconnect with his siblings. Unfortunately, he was not able to reconnect with his biological mother and father, who had passed away before he found them, but he can learn more about them from his six siblings.
21 This Person's Reunion With Their Biological Mother Was A Happy Occasion
In a Reddit thread, @Newflies details how they knew about their adoption from the beginning. The adoptive family had been very loving and was supportive of @Newflies' search for their biological parents. @Newflies wrote a letter to their biological mother to see if she would want to reconnect... And she did! So, @Newflies met their biological mother and siblings.
@Newflies' adoptive mother created a scrapbook for their biological mother so that she could see her child grow up. All of them (@Newflies, adoptive mom, and biological mom) met in person and became really good friends. This story sounds like the happiest of family reunions, and we are glad that @Newflies shared it on Reddit.
20 @Kg51 Went To Her Biological Half-Sister's Graduation
@Kg51 told Reddit she already knew her biological mother's full name. With a simple online search, @Kg51 found where her mother went to high school. It turned out that her biological mother only lived a few hours away from her! So, she was able to reconnect with her mother and her biological half-sister.
Now she and her biological half-sister attend wedding showers, weddings, and baby showers together. Her biological family even comes down for her daughter's birthday every year! She writes in the Reddit thread: "It's a great relationship, and I'm thankful for having my parents be so awesome and we all get along fantastic."
19 Wow, Dorien Hammann Met Her Birth Mother After 80 Years
Dorien Hammann was 83 years old before she met her birth mother. Eileen Wagner had given birth to Dorien in the early 1930s when unplanned pregnancies were seen in a different light. When Eileen Wagner was 16 years old, she was attacked on her way from school. It resulted in the pregnancy. She gave Dorien to an adoption agency but never forgot about her daughter.
Amazingly, in 2016, the mother and daughter were reunited. The story that surrounds the birth and adoption is now known, but that hasn't dampened the love the two women have found with one another as mother and daughter. The reunion has been a happy one for both of them.
18 After Being Pen Pals, Cynthia Kortman Westphal Met Her Mother
Cynthia Kortman Westphal always knew she was adopted. She had lived a happy life with her adoptive family but did wonder about her birth mother. The adoption, however, had been closed, though. But Michigan changed their law and allowed adoptees to see their birth certificates. This is how Cynthia learned the names of her biological parents and their descriptions. Now she had something to go by to find her birth parents. Michigan law allowed Cynthia Kortman Westphal to work with a mediator who could reconnect her with her birth family. That is how she was able to locate her mother. The two became pen pals to get to know each other first. It was not an easy journey, but they finally met in person. The reunion was tearful.
17 Ritchie's Birth Mother Had Closure When They Finally Met
Ritchie Annand tracked down his birth mother through a genealogist and reconnected with his birth family. His biological mother even sent him some of her drawings, which reminded him of his sketch style. He and this woman—who became his wife—traveled to meet his biological family and got to know them better.
He writes in a Quora post: "Tracking her down, I found out, was one of the nicest things I could have done for her. It was a closed adoption and she was pressured into giving me up, so she always noticed the birth date and had no idea, of course, what had happened. This really gave her closure."
16 @TheTalentedMrBryant Lived Near His Birth Family The Entire Time
Sometimes adopted kids are not very far from their birth families, as was the case for Reddit user @TheTalentedMrBryant. He worked as a cashier near where his biological family lived and had even talked to them several times before he found out the truth. His biological sister revealed that he was part of their family.
Now they are working on being a family again. They might not be the same type of family as other families, but they have befriended each other. He says that his birth mother had been a nurse at the hospital where he was born, and that's how their lives all became interconnected.
15 But Some Reunions Are Awkward
For Reddit user @Phog91, the meeting with their birth mother was just "okay." @Phog91 says that they always knew they were adopted. When they finally met their birth mother, it made sense why they were given up for adoption based on the circumstances. Even so, @Phog91 wanted to make an effort to reunite with their birth family.
Unfortunately, it did not go much beyond the initial meeting. Things had been pleasant on their own. Sometimes reconnecting on a deep level just isn't possible, and that's okay, too. Now they no longer talk to each other. They had differences of opinion with one another, and it just didn't work out in @Phog91's case.
14 @Nikk2k Met Their Biological Parents Early In Life
Reddit user @Nikk2k says that they and their sister were both adopted children. @Nikk2k's biological mom and adoptive mom stayed in contact throughout the years, so that @Nikk2k was able to form a bond with both moms. This relationship has helped @Nikk2k to feel that the adoption was the best thing in their case, and that the biological parents had chosen the right adoptive parents.
Stories like these are great to read. Not every adoptive family is able to stay in contact with the biological family, and some do not want to stay in contact for various reasons. @Nikk2k has a unique story with a happy ending.
13 Lisa Lutz Learned Something About Herself
In an article that appears in the New York Times, Lisa Lutz shares how she met both of her birth parents. Oddly, her biological mother was not happy about being contacted since the adoption had been closed. So, that relationship ended up not going anywhere.
So, Lisa Lutz tracked down her biological father and things were a little better. He offered to take her to Disneyland, even though she was 37 at the time. And that was the last she heard from him, she says. What she learned is that maybe she wouldn't be who she is today if she had been raised by her biological family instead of her adoptive family.
12 David Neal's Parents Were Kept Apart Like 'Romeo And Juliet'
David Neal learned the story behind his adoption later in life. His parents had been together when a hunting accident happened that separated their families. The parents of their parents kept them apart, and that was why they were unable to keep their child (aka: David). It's almost like the story of Romeo and Juliet but with a far less tragic ending.
Now that David Neal has reconnected with his biological family, they have a great relationship. It's nice to know where he came from and who his parents were. Meeting them for the first time turned out to be one of the most wonderful moments in his life.
11 Chad's Mother Sent Him A Letter
Chad and his twin brother Brad Cottle had always known they were adopted but didn't remember their birth mother. Their adoptive mother passed away when they were 5 years old, and their adoptive father remarried. At age 12, Chad and Brad received a letter that their birth mother was getting her life in order.
But it wasn't until a law was passed that allowed adoptees to see their birth certificates that Chad Cottle learned more about his birth mother. His biological mother and father had separated when she was pregnant with them. Yet, it was an amazing reunion because his biological parents also reconnected and got married. It had taken 30 years, but it sounds as if they have become a family.
10 It Was A Happy Reunion For Julie Mooney
Julie Mooney searched for her birth mother for 33 years. Once Ohio also passed a law that allowed adoptees to get their birth certificates, she was able to verify the name of her biological mother. With the aid of a service that connects adopted kids to their biological parents, Julie Mooney was able to locate her mother and call her.
Her mother had not wanted to give her up, but she says that it was a different time back then, and she almost had no choice in the matter. But now both women share tears of joy and have reconnected to form their own new family.
9 Meribeth Reunited With Her Birth Mother On Television
Meribeth Blackwell sent in her DNA to see if she could discover her birth mother. The records for her adoption were sealed, so she was unable to get a name that way. As luck would have it, her biological mother Angie Oracoy had also submitted DNA to the same site. They were matched as mother and daughter.
Then they met for the first time on Good Morning America. It was a tearful but joyful reunion for them. Angie had given birth to Meribeth when she was 19. It was 30 years until they would meet again. The DNA site had managed to bring them back together.
8 @Abqkat Met Their Birth Mother At The Tender Age Of Nine
Reddit user @Abqkat shared that they met their birth mother at a young age. In fact, their adoptive parents insisted on it! They thought it would be a good thing for both @Abqkat and the biological mother. But @Abqkat does not see that person as their mother.
Their biological mother has a lot of issues to work through before she can form a good relationship with her child. So, @Abqkat stays in contact with her to keep the adoptive parents happy. Maybe one of these days @Abqkat and the biological mother will be able to truly reconnect. These things can take time.
7 Two Different Outcomes With Their Biological Mother And Father
Another Reddit user who goes by the username @ThisIsMyThrowAway767 says that they always knew they were adopted and had basic information on their birth parents. The reunion with their biological mother was when@ThisIsMyThrowAway767 was 18 years old. "I was able to understand myself so much better once I met her," the Redditor writes.
The situation was different for meeting their biological father. His father's wife had not wanted him to reconnect with a child from his past, so when she found out that he had done so anyway, she made an ultimatum that resulted in breaking all contact with@ThisIsMyThrowAway767.
6 A Fairy Tale Experience For @PowerWordCoffee
If any story is inspiring, it's that story that Reddit user @PowerWordCoffee shared about meeting their biological mother. PWC knew their mother's name and actually creeped her on a social media platform. But once they finally connected, it was as if they had never been apart.
@PowerWordCoffee first got to know their mother on social media before meeting in person, but the meetup involved lots of hugs and happy tears. PWC has no ill feelings toward their biological mother anymore, who had been a teenager when she got pregnant.
5 Adopted Twice, Loved By All
Redditor @Kit3high has a really interesting story. They had been adopted by one family as a baby and then by another family later on in life. Over time, @Kit3high got to know both adoptive families and got along with them better.
Later on, @Kit3high learned about their birth mother by accident. So, the one adoptive family helped to set up a meeting. It helped to form a very unique family for @Kit3high, but they feel loved and welcomed by all of their families.
4 Not As Magical As This Person Hoped
An anonymous contributor wrote about their experience on MTV's website. This person began looking for their biological mother when they were 22 years old and sent her an email once they got her information. This person imagined that there would be fireworks of sorts when meeting their biological mother. But when the email reply finally came through, the anonymous writer was disappointed. "She shared her family medical history and a bit of what she's been up to over the last 25 years," they wrote on MTV's site. "I told her a little about my job and the parents who raised me. No cosmic connection." The relationship didn't develop much from that point.
3 A DNA Test Brought Them Together
Barrie Bode's son Alex sent in his DNA to a testing facility. He was in for a surprise when a man named Travis contacted him and asked him when his dad had been born. Why? Well, it turns out that Travis and Barrie are biological half-brothers.
Barrie is the son that Travis's mother, Ida Pollack, had placed for adoption back when she was a teenager. Now Barrie has met his biological mother Ida and his half-brother Travis. It was unexpected, to say the least, yet, as the 23andMe blog shares, the reunion has been a happy one for all of them.
2 Liz Labacz Found Her Birth Mom Through An Old Newspaper Clipping
In an article for The Hairpin, Liz Labacz recounts how she met her birth mother. Sometimes it can be difficult to track down information about birth parents. Liz did not have that issue and easily found a name online. An old newspaper also provided some valuable information. Meeting a birth parent for the first time is not going to be the same for everyone. For Liz Labacz, it turned out to be a very good experience. Her biological family easily accepted her and were kind and loving. Now she has a new family in addition to the ones who raised her.
1 Robbie And Doug Met Their Biological Mother
It's great when biological siblings get to stay together through the adoption process. That was the case for brothers Robbie and Doug, but they wanted to meet their birth mother and decided to go looking for her (with the help of BuzzFeed Video). Meeting their biological mother turned out to be a great experience for them. She told them that she had given them up for adoption to give them a better life, and she was happy that things worked out for them. Their mother showed them a photo album and told them about her life and circumstances. The reunion ended with hugs and friendly good-byes.
References: childwelfare.gov, adopteerightslaw.com, boredpanda.com, reddit.com, reddit.com, chicagotribune.com, goodhousekeeping.com, quora.com, reddit.com, reddit.com, reddit.com, nytimes.com, thoughtcatalog.com, huffingtonpost.com, rd.com, abcnews.go.com, reddit.com, reddit.com, reddit.com, reddit.com, mtv.com, blog.23andme.com, thehairpin.com, buzzfeed.com,