My twin sister and I were led to believe we were orphaned and even given a “certificate of orphanhood” as proof of this by the pioneering reputable adoption agency in the early 1970s. We had no doubts about this status while growing up. It was sometimes fun to see people’s reactions when we told them we were literally found on a street and born by a giant metal stork, a Boeing jet. We truly believed we came from a nonexistent family and, as a consequence, the idea to even look for other existing blood relatives did not enter our consciousness during the first three decades of our lives. It was not until we learned that other adoptees who were told the same thing were finding cousins, siblings, fathers, and even mothers, that we began to ask questions. I began to wonder if the data we had been given as children was based on misinformation.
“When we finally traveled more than 5000 miles to the adoption agency, at age 44, for the third time, I was a little taken aback that we, adoptees, were still expected to enter through a back alley to get to the back door in the effort to obtain adoption documents—documents that should be freely given to us because they pertain to us.”
Adoption History 101: An Orphan’s Research is a portrait of adoption from the back door—a view that no one really wants to look at, talk about or even acknowledge, but to me vitally important. If you’re curious, we’ll show you what’s been going on.