I am 67. I was adopted as an infant. All my life I wanted to know about my birth family. My adoption was 'closed' and I tried several times to gain access to my original birth certificate, without success. In October 2014 I was randomly looking about on the internet and learnt that Illinois had changed their law to allow adult adoptees access to their birth records. In March 2015 I received my original birth certificate. When I saw that it said 'not legitimate' I felt legitimate for the first time in my life. I learnt the name of my birth mother and the name she gave me when I was born. I could imagine me being born, not just magicked into being. I couldn't believe it. I was ecstatic. I started trying to search on and found records for a family that I believe is my birth family but couldn't find any records after 1940. I then learnt that there is an organisation that assists adult adoptees with searching. It took a long time, but each step on the way gave me more pieces of information. Eventually I got the court order of adoption, the medical record of my care for the first 7 months of my life, some medical information about my birth mother and her family, and the social summary about my mother and why I was relinquished for adoption. All of this information was anonymised and I can't really explain why, but I felt hurt by that. The court order said my mother didn't sign the papers allowing me to be adopted until weeks after I was born so I thought that I was with her for that time, but on my medical history I learnt that from 1 week of age I was in the care of a foster mother and not placed with my adoptive parents until I was 7 months old and then not adopted until I was 21 months old. Still, from all of the information I could piece together an understanding of my beginnings. I applied to the court for a confidential intermediary and she began to search for my birth mother who would be 87 years old. Unbelievably, she found someone who was a match - I was over the moon, beyond ecstatic. I wrote a letter and got a friend to take a nice photo of me and I sent them to the intermediary to give to my birth mother. The intermediary sent an outreach letter to the woman but did not get a response. She followed up with a phone call and the woman said they had the wrong address and gave them a different address. I was encouraged. She didn't just shut the door. The intermediary sent out another letter. Still no response. She made another follow up telephone call and the woman identified as my birth mother said it wasn't her but all the information matched up and the intermediary is absolutely convinced it is the right person. My birth mother said she would not be interested in any kind of contact nor would she wish to receive the message from me. During the first phone call she had disclosed that she had a daughter (after me) and the intermediary searched for her and found her. She sent an outreach letter but did not get a response. She made a follow up phone call but a man answered the phone and said she was unavailable to take the call and took a message. The woman has not returned the call. I am devastated. It is beyond sad.
So just to clarify, you found the woman you believe is your birth mother, but she is denying it?
I am so sorry that you are having such a hard time. Its difficult to feel so close to the answers you've been lookong for, only to come to a dead end. My heart hurts for you.
I want you to know that you are loved. I know that, because I am a birth mother myself. I miss my birth daughter every day, but I know I placed out of love for her. I know a lot of birth mothers who cope with that pain by denying it. I imagine that is what is happening in this situation- she has probably buried her pain so deep for so long that she's having a difficult time hearing from you.
Don't give up hope. Know that no matter the outcome, you are loved. I think you will find this community to be a great resource for you, and encourage you to keep us posted
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