Many people have read or heard stories about someone finding their “long lost” relatives. However, many don’t understand the life-changing impact that reunion will have on a person’s life. This is the story of Olympian diver, Greg Louganis.
Greg was placed for adoption at birth. And like so many adopted at birth, he wondered and had questions about his biological family. He was able to connect with his birth father at the age of 24. It wasn’t until this last Thanksgiving, however, that he was able to meet his birth mother.
Greg submitted his DNA to Ancestry.com to confirm the identify of his biological father, whom he had known for decades. However, one day he received a message from someone who said, “I think you might be my aunt’s son.” Through his newfound cousin, Greg was connected with his biological mother and spoke with her on the phone. He was able to meet her for the first time this past Thanksgiving.
His biological mother was able to share stories and information about his biological family with him; he also found out he had biological siblings. Greg told People, “My family’s tripled! It’s such an unexpected surprise.”
This is another great story showing the benefits of open adoption; when children have access to their birth parents, they don’t have to wonder about their “roots.” Obviously, it isn’t always possible or safe to have an open adoption, but when it is possible, open adoption does have many positive benefits. It benefits the adopted children, who have access to their biological family members and can ask questions that will help them with their “identity.” It can also help the biological parents, give them reassurance in their decision to place their child for adoption, and give them peace of mind in knowing that their child is doing well.
Greg was able to find his biological family through online tools. But some people don’t have enough information or connections to locate biological family; that’s why at least some degree of openness in adoption is recommended.