Locating my Birth Father

An adoptee's continued search for his roots.

Tom Andriola July 27, 2014
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It was 2010. Thirteen years had gone by since my successful search for my birth mother. She had given me my birth father’s name, middle initial and all, but I had never had a desire to do anything about it. Up until then. I had been angry that he had never acknowledged that he could be my father and had simply left her to deal with her pregnancy at a young age on her own. That stretch was also a tough period in my life anyway. I was in the midst of coming to terms with having been sexually abused by my oldest brother, and it was all I could do to just get through life for some time.

While in therapy for the abuse, I started dealing with my adoption issues, as well: the abandonment, the rejection, and all the other deep-seated emotions that are so common in this realm. I eventually came to the realization that whatever choices were made at the time were not about me. Those choices were not personal, and I desperately wanted to know more about my biological roots.

So I restarted my search. In 2010, the Internet was infinitely more advanced than it was in 1997, when I began my quest to find my birth mother. At the same time, however, my birth father’s last name was much more common, which would make my search that much more complicated. The challenge was on, and I was determined.

The only information I had was his name and that he had attended Pace University at or around 1970. I wasn’t sure this would be enough to go on, but I was going to take a crack at it. I did some searches on the name in and around the New York City metropolitan area, and I got way too many hits. Then I decided to check the alumni page of the Pace University website, and I found a small, but very key, piece of information. I had found an alumnus listed with his name in the graduating class of 1970. While it didn’t list his current address, it did list his current state as Connecticut.

I went back to my search list. There was only one person with that name and age in the State of Connecticut. It was an address in Greenwich. Bingo! Once I had the address, I did some separate searches on that. There he was, listed with four other members of the household. It looked like he was married and had three kids. Oh my God! He had three kids! Those were probably my half siblings! I couldn’t believe my find.

My heart began pounding. I didn’t know what to do with my newfound information. Would I act on it immediately? Sit on it and digest it a little bit? I took a deep breath and decided it would be best to let it sink in for a while. It had already been 39 years. No sense rushing into an approach that might keep the door shut and ruining my chances of a successful connection with my birth father and his family. So I waited and thought about my strategy. This was going to be a delicate matter, and I was determined to do it right.

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Tom Andriola

Tom Andriola advocates for adoptee rights and shares his personal experiences about being adopted and his successful, independent search for both biological parents. To see more of his writing, visit Tom's Facebook page.

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