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Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey, United States

Tax guy, host & producer of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, former co-host of the Wall Street Journal E-Report

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Birth Parent search update: Rejected!

So, midway through my Gettysburg trip last week, I get a call on my cell phone from CHS (Children's Home Society). They give me the second worst news I wanted to hear (birth parent being deceased being the worst). The mother doesn't want to meet me.

But here's the odd thing. The phone call had come from her husband, not from her. CHS tried to persuade him to allow them to talk to her, but he said she was "at work". Apparently, he was aware of my existence as he asked CHS if I was the person who she gave up back in 1970, so at least I wasn't a surprise (at least not at the time of that phone call...she might have just sprung the news on him the night before for all I know).

And here's where it get's interesting...apparently they're jaded on the reunion idea because they had a bad experience with ANOTHER son they had given up for adoption. It seems that after they reunited with him, this kid's father (unknown if it's his birth or adopted father) came after them for money. So now my attempt at meeting her is going to be screwed because of some half-brother I don't know about. And on top of that, I can't search for my birth father until she waives the confidentiality agreement that was signed when she put me up for adoption. So now I'm doubly screwed.

But at least some good news came out of this. CHS managed to pull some health information from the husband before they hung up. Both her parents are healthy and in their 80s. And there's no known recurring health issues in the family. Sure there's an uncle who died of cancer and an aunt with diabetes, but every family has those.

But I'm not giving up. I'm going to meet with CHS sometime soon to see if there's a mutual waiver we can sign where we agree not to pursue each other's assets. I have no problem signing something like that on my end...I don't care if she's Martha Stewart...I don't want her money. But I want this to be a *mutual* agreement. Let's sum up what I know about her:

  • When she gave me up at age 21, it was commented in her records that she was "immature".
  • It was told to CHS that I was conceived "against her will", although that testimony was given in front of both of her parents and in 1970 when premarital sex was still taboo in most families (although I *was* conceived one month after Woodstock occurred). But now that I know she's given up two possibly-illegitimate children (that I'm aware of) for adoption, exactly how much does that claim hold water?
  • Her husband...not her...called CHS. That means that she's possibly in a controlling, possibly abusive relationship. Did she even get the letter, or did her husband intercept it and not tell her about it? We don't know. Or is it possible that she's so weak or scared that she had her husband call CHS for her? Either one of these scenarios wouldn't surprise me if she was in her 20s or 30s, but she's in her mid-fifties now. Perhaps she hasn't "matured".
  • Although they wouldn't go into detail, CHS hinted that there might been a "legal" issue in her past.
So, with that assessment, I think it might be wise to protect MY assets as well.

Anyway, I'm not ready to close the book just stay tuned.


Blogger Darren said...

Wow. That's all kind of fascinating. With regards to your third point, however, it's possible that her husband is just trying to protect her, or at least that she found it too painful or difficult to deal with, so he agreed to deal with it for her.

Either way, I hope everything resolves itself for the best. Good luck!

10/17/2005 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Spike said...

I'll echo Darren's comment. Good luck with everything.

10/17/2005 7:11 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

If that's the case that goes back to my point about her character. While I'm not bitter, I am disappointed that she couldn't even call CHS herself to answer their letter. It's not like she was calling *me*, she was calling the agency that represented her 35 years ago. I understand that it might be a difficult scenario for some people, but using your husband as a shield for a situation you created yourself back in 1970 is a major cop out.

10/17/2005 9:29 PM  

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