My need to find my birth family had nothing to do with my parents, and here’s why: My whole life I’ve been the girl, teen, woman who wonders “what if?”

Not in the usual way of “What if something bad happens,” but as “What if this could be good, what if I miss something, what do I not know?”

I knew I was adopted from a young age. It was never hidden from me. In fact, I never really had a desire to actually KNOW my biological mother until I nearly lost a teddy bear from her in a fire. That is what sparked it.

I guess my story is a little more complicated than most. My parents were completely on board (or at least that’s how I remember it) with meeting my biological mother. I met her at 14 and was going to visit her annually every year after. I even lived with her for a few months and we became friends.

Unfortunately, my adoptive family and I had a falling out around my 19th year. It had nothing to do with my biological mother. It’s a completely different story, but let’s just say it’s been 10 years of trials.

I’ve had a desire to know my biological father since I was 18 or so. By 25 I decided I would contact him. At that point I wasn’t on good terms with my adoptive family, so I made no mention of it to them, but my biological mother was VERY upset at the idea.

She begged me not to and called me selfish. SELFISH? Because I want to know my father the same way I know you? Because I want to know if maybe I get my dark hair or my features from him? If we have similar ideas or talents?

I think it was more fear on her part, because she had not told my biological father of my existence.

I contacted him anyway, and with great surprise, he was THRILLED, and kind and excited, and so were his daughters. Unfortunately the paternity test was negative, and we were all devastated.

My biological mother of course was embarrassed, and angry. She refuses to tell me any ideas of who he could be.

She doesn’t know, but I tested another man a few months ago. He was so kind, and excited as well. I guess I’m lucky in that I have had two gentle and kind men HAPPY to have me as their daughter. But again, negative test.

My birth mother claims she’ll tell me everything she knows when I’m 30, but I am not holding my breath.

But back to the point.

The need to know your biological parents does not make you love your [adoptive] parents any less.

If anything, it creates a huge love and respect for them.

But no matter how deeply you love your parents, there is still missing information. Still an instinctual desire to know who you came from, where you came from, why you look like you do, or think like you do, or why your left foot is longer than your right.

I sincerely believe you can equally love two sets of parents, in two totally different ways, and that’s a wonderful thought.

There is more of a betrayal in my mind, when adoptive or biological parents do not support or allow a child to find their biological parents.

—Samantha, an adoptee

Read more about Sam’s story here.