I know about adoption.
I was adopted as a baby, and when I grew to adulthood I adopted my beautiful daughter. What goes around, comes around.
I'm very lucky and grateful for the good life I have made for myself with my own children, with the help of my wonderful wife. Nevertheless, I have always wanted to find my birth family. I don't know how to explain the urge to find one's blood roots to anyone who isn't adopted. All I can say is that it is a primitive urge and very, very strong.
Adoptions were closed for many years in the UK. This meant that adopted children were unable to access any information at all about their birth parents and situation. I tried to get this information when I was a young man of about 20 but it was like talking to a brick wall (only more painful). I tried again when my own children were small but again, had no success. I was very distressed, but put it out of my mind and concentrated on my own little family and on living my own life. Some years after that, they changed the law but I wasn't aware of this until last year. Right away, I started the process of finding my birth family.
I was required to have professional counselling in order to help me appreciate the seriousness of what I was getting into, and what the possible outcomes might be. This is a process that can affect many lives. I investigated several social work agencies in Toronto and they all offered to help me, but I was most impressed by the Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO). I received wise, kind and thoughtful counselling from Joanne Hoffman, a Social Worker in ACO's Permanency and Adoption Support Services (PASS). Joanne guided me through the lengthy paperwork involved in obtaining my real birth certificate. I can't describe what a thrill it was to finally hold it in my hands. But that was just the beginning of the search for my blood relatives. Joanne obtained assistance for me from a UK agency which specializes in such searches, and acted as my liaison with them. The whole process took almost a year, during which Joanne was unfailingly supportive and kind to me. I can't express how grateful I am to her and to the ACO. Sometimes these searches go well, sometimes they do not, but I am very fortunate. I now have brothers and sisters, as well as a seemingly endless host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and so forth.
Yes, I know about adoption.