08 January 2008

What about sharing information

I thought that adding this message might help a few of us in search of adoptees’. There are so many sites where one can log information, search for birth parents, but when it comes to actually trying to all the information it is one mission… Mission possible…. Not impossible… Adopted Children Although adopted children have became part of another family, we may want to know more about our birth family, to know where we come from, family history and so much more. We want to feel both accepted by our adoptive family and comfortable about our origin and identity. Most of the adopted young people think about meeting with birth relatives, which results in one major search, which is a long and painful road… Birth relatives Birth relatives mostly has a strong need to be reassured that the adoptee is alive and well, and sometimes would also like more news on health and progress. Although this news sometimes brings back painful memories, most birth parents and relatives feel they would rather have it than not. A regular exchange of information between birth relatives and adopted parents may help to smooth the way if the adopted child proposes a meeting when he/she is grown.

Easier said than done… but the registrar of adoptions reports that 90% of adopted children are successful in finding their birth parent. Sixty percent of the birth parent is not willing to make contact. Well about everything else Fairly comprehensive documentation is kept with the registrar of adoptions in Pretoria. Some of these documents are legal document which may not be destroyed, so the registrar keeps:

  • The consent form of the biological parents
  • The application for adoption of the adoptive parents
  • The social worker’s report on the adoptive parents
  • The social worker’s detailed profile of the birth parent (Should the adoption have taken places at agencies like Johannesburg child welfare, this profile is kept in the agency’s archives.)

Great news is that the adoption records are kept for 70 years. The social worker’s profile contains as much identifying detail of the birth parents family, background history, interests, hobbies and circumstances of the adoption. Details such as birth dates, identification numbers and the full names of the birth mother’s parents are recorded if available. This aids tracing if the mother remarry and changes her name. If some of the information is not available the department of home affairs is able to provide some assistance in obtaining the information. A photograph of the birth parents, which is rare, completes the adopted child’s background.

In our adult life these documents are of vital importance to us, should we feel that we need to trace our origin. I think that once you start your search most adoptees feel that they have a fantastic home, and a very loving family, and they don’t want their adoptive parent to know about their search for fear or upsetting them. Most of the people who search are not looking for love, but they either need more background details to complete their picture.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Stefanie,

    I read through all this information, and have to say this really helps one when you are also searching for loved once. Thanks for sharing


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