Frustrated In My Search As An Adopted Child

I have always known I was adopted and it was always ok. I always knew and had a lot of questions. I was placed at at wonderful agency near Chicago. It is the only orphanage that still takes care of babies on site. It was the sixties when I was placed there, and as part of my search, I was told that my mother was raped. Could be, but it was a time when women were forced to give up children because it was shameful. I was in the orphanage for a while, which still haunts me a bit, it took a year before anyone took me home. I wasn't the cutiest baby I guess. I came home to a good family. We had money, trips, a big house and much dysfunction and secrets.
My dad passed away from alzhiemers a bit ago, and mom is ill now. They were always uncomfotable with my questions of who, why, what happened. It took a while for me to start looking... I am 51 now..I tried a professional search agency and all they did was take my money. I have looked on many search sites, no luck. Illinois has opened it's laws a bit, but all I have is a last name.  What should I do, where should I look, how do I go about it? I have limited funds and could use some advice...
hannaheh hannaheh
51-55, F
4 Responses May 5, 2012

Begin with the orphanage and work your way backward. If you explain to the right people there what you want and why, you will get a link to continue on.This is a very sore subject with me.Three years after my mother passed away, I had a call from a woman in Las Vegas, claiming she was an adoptee and that my mom was also hers and demanding personal information. It took me three times on that initial call to make her understand my mother was deceased. First she hung up on me, called right back five minutes later and then stammered what she wanted. If told her she was a "liar" and she claimed she had "proof". Three days later, I received a bulky envelope. She included copies of an adoption decree, a cover letter from the agency that placed her, and a snotty letter from her, asking for the information, telling me "if I don't get the information from you, I will get it from other sources. If there is a will, there is a way, and I will find it."I was very upset. The only information that disproved her claim was the cover letter from the organization, saying the woman who placed the baby was a 21-year-old blonde with blue eyes, of Catholic descent.My mom (and my older stepsister, whom this girl never mentioned) and me all had dark hair, dark eyes in brown - and my mother was a Lutheran until she met my dad and began keeping steady company with him. THEN she converted.. I wrote her back and told her I was sorry, but her mother was NOT mine and to leave our family alone, or the next letter she got would be from our attorney. I never heard from her directly again, but I have no assurance she's not digging around out West in family history that is none of her business.I tell you this episode in being proactively cautious - you may come up against something like this if your birth parents are deceased. Don't, whatever you do, do what this woman did to our family. Maybe they don't want contact and have asked for just that. Honor their wishes if that is what they say. If they say they would "welcome contact" that is another thing.MaryJanine.

Oh, and don't feel bad...I had a birthmark that left me bouncing between foster homes before settling down with a loving family. Good grief!

Excellent advice! You might also file for what paperwork you can through the state, orphanage, and adoption agency. With all of the registries out there, they may already be looking for you! Best of lucK!

Thank you!