30 People Who Finally Met Their Biological Parents Share What It Was Like
The UN has estimated that roughly 260,000 adoptions take place around the world every year. When it comes to the US, around 95% of them are open to a certain extent, with varying levels of connection between the child’s adoptive and birth families. An open adoption, indicating such a link between the two families, means the adopted child might have a way to get a hold of their birth parents.
Some people are more eager to look for their biological parents than others; and for those who are keen to come face to face with them, it can be an emotional rollercoaster. Such a leap of faith can be exciting and frightening at once and present unexpected outcomes, like in some of the stories on the list below. We have gathered some of people’s accounts of meeting their biological parents that range from heartache to endless gratitude and show that no two stories are ever the same.
I found my bio mom when I was 42. Getting to know each other as adults has been pretty wonderful. Her life spiraled out of control for years after giving me up when she was in high school. I grew up in a great, loving, stable home. She would never have been able to provide that to me. She would have loved me, but that was it. My bio mom and mom met once, and they were so grateful for each other. My mother thanked bio mom for giving her the greatest gift. Bio mom thanked my mom "you did what I needed you to do. What I couldn't do for her".
I was adopted at about 5 months old, so I had no memory of my birth parents. My birth mother was addicted to drugs, and her boyfriend was an abusive a*****e. Well, a few years after I was born, she managed to get away from him, and started her road to recovery. Now, she's totally clean and owns a bakery.
I know all of this because when I was 37 years old, she managed to track me down, because in her words, she "just wanted to be sure that she made the right decision". And I think she did, because we're both doing pretty well now, and I don't think we would be if she had kept me.
Born in eastern China during the one-child policy. I was premature so my mom took care of me in secret for a few months before leaving me near a theatre. I was found by an elderly woman who I am forever thankful for. She brought me to an orphanage for premature babies. Adopted by Finnish parents at age 1. I am 16 now and I still don't know who my mother is or if she is alive. I would like to meet her and give her a big hug. During the one-child policy women were forced to get sterilized, forced abortions, and police tracking cycles. She is the bravest woman I know
Not me, my mother.
Grandmother was 16 when she fell pregnant and her parents placed her into this house for teenage girls who were ‘troubled’, my mother got adopted by a lovely couple and my grandmother returned to England.
Fast forward to 2 weeks before my mother’s 40th birthday, she decides that she is ready to try and find her biological mother. She wrote a letter to the agency to grant permission for her mother to contact her/receive her info. The next day she gets a phone call from the agency; apparently her mother sent in her own letter only 2 DAYS before. They contacted each other and turns out my grandmother was actually in South Africa (this is where she lived when she was pregnant w/ my mother) and visiting one of her sons that lived only an HOUR away from our home.
She came to our house for my mother’s 40th and it was amazing.
This was 16 years ago and she recently stayed with us in the holidays where the two of them would lay in bed and giggle like school girls about life while watching Downton Abby.
They can’t even go 2 days without FaceTiming each other for hours now. :)
I was adopted shortly after birth. My adoptive parents are awesome and never hid anything from me. Life was good. I was always curious what sort of ethnic background I came from, so I took an Ancestry DNA test. The results were interesting; my adoptive parents are German and English, and my birth parents are also German and English. I made contact with a few long lost cousins, but nobody remembered anyone giving up a a baby. Months pass, and I get a message from one of the long lost cousins - he checked with other family members and sure enough he knows who my birth mother is. We made phone contact and finally were able to meet in person. She was able to tell me who my birth father was. I met them both (each individually), it has been life changing. I now get together with each one and their respective families a couple times a year. The fact that I now have 2 bonus (birth) families is mind blowing. It may have taken 45 years, but it was all worth the wait! I never thought knowing who they are would affect me the way it did. I can’t explain it other than a feeling of being “whole”. Knowing these people just warms my heart. I am beyond lucky.
I might be overstepping. I am not adopted. But my mom had her first son when she was 16 and gave him up for adoption.
When I was 16, she told me about him and that she had found him (she only started looking when my brother and I were old enough to understand her decision). The first time I met him, I was working a shift at KFC. My mom called the store and told me he is only in town for the evening and that he wanted to meet me, even if it was just briefly. I was so excited. They showed up and I clocked out for my break. It was such an odd experience. He told me about his daughters, and asked about school and work, and then we had to cut it short so I could get back to work.
Its been 16 years since we met now, and my mom has been so happy. He ended up having some health issues, he is okay now, but had they not met, he wouldn't have been able to get the genetic testing done to find out it was an issue he was born with. His daughters have the same defect and are on medication, but without my mom, they would all probably still be in limbo.
He once told me he felt like the luckiest guy. He got adopted by a wonderful family, he has wonderful parents, my mother included, he has brothers and sisters, and includes myself and my brother. We don't often use the term "half" even if its technically true. He says he is lucky cause he got this giant family out of the situation, and his daughters are loved by three sets of grandparents. They call my mom Grandma.
I was informally adopted by a former teacher when I was fifteen because some people are *awesome.*
My biological father is a piece of s**t. Last I heard he was homeless in St. Paul and with any luck he is or will be very very dead soon.
My biological mom tried her best with what she had, but was also a manipulative narcissist.
I am 43 years old and met my bio family (mother, brother, and sister) almost exactly 10 years ago now. I found my mother after a brief Facebook search (I had her name and an appropriate age and knew she went to high school in a specific part of the city.)
The meeting went very well and I finally found people that I could relate to for my unusual sense of humor. Our ongoing relationship blows up and preconceived notions I had about nature vs nurture. We mostly like all the same stuff (my brother is a Star Wars fan, while mom, sis, and myself are all Trekkers).
While it's only been 10 years, if feels like I've known them my entire life.
The topic of dad came up once, and I was told that when my siblings were little, and before I was born he left without warning. My sister tried to contact him years later and he wanted nothing to do with anyone from his previous life.
10/10 would recommend anyone who has the means to find their bio family to do so.
I'd also like to add my sincerest thanks to some random clerk at the Ontario Registrar General's office in Toronto that accidentally disclosed my parentage while I was applying for a birth certificate that made the entire endeavor possible.
Yes. My birth mother was 13. I understood completely. But when she told me "Now that I found you I am your ONLY mother" I never spoke to her again.
My birth father … he was 20. But it was the 70's so I'm not going to give him too much grief. He's got a great job. Stable life however he fathered 7 children. All girls. All placed for adoption. Every few years another one pops up. Smh
Oh, and I should mention that even though they have been married to other people for 20-plus years- they were still sleeping together in 2000.
I have parents and these aren't them.
Edit: I forgot to add my birth father never told his current wife and found an email from me and she sent me a nasty reply assuming we were having an affair. I responded with the 3 other names of his other "children" ( the others popped up after this). I know it was probably wrong but I was hurt. The names she called me...
I later found out from his daughter he raised that Barb was furious at him for never telling him and HER mother divorced him after she found him and my birth mother in bed. She never knew I existed either. She only found out after that daughter found out and searched me out on Myspace.
Yep, total soap opera.
I am not adopted but I was a foster child (kinship care). My father left my mother and I when I was 1 and my mother died five days after my little brother was born when I was 2.5. My father knew she died but never came to claim me. My aunt and uncle raised me from that point on. When I was 11 I answered the phone and a man asked for my Aunt. When I handed her the phone and she asked who it was she immediately started crying. Later on her and my uncle told me it was my father and that he wanted to meet me and it was completely up to me. It took me a while but I finally agreed. He showed up and I hid in my bathroom crying for hours. Eventually I came downstairs and met him. He cried. I cried. He told me that he never knew my mother died (he admitted later on that was a lie) and that he had been looking for me for years. He claimed she left him and took me away which was also a lie (he abandoned us in a motel and took all of the baby items she had for me so she had nothing). I was young so I thought he really did want me now. I started weekend visits. I turned out he had a new wife and a son. I thought everything was going well until one day about 6 months later he just cut off all contact and once again abandoned me. 3 years later he came back. He claimed he left because he thought he was having a negative effect on my life. We talked for about a year. He stuck around all the while telling me I belonged with him and his family and how he could give me a good life. He said his family wanted me there. I was 15 and naive. I thought I knew best. I believed everything and thought the grass would be greener on the other side. I desperately wanted a dad. So I moved in with him. I didn’t take long for him to start letting his wife treat me like garbage and spread horrible rumors about me and my dead mother. She didn’t want me eating the food they bought but wouldn’t allow me to get a job while in high school to buy my own things. He told me I was jealous of her because her body was better than mine (I was 104 lbs at the time) and that he’d never choose me over her (I never once asked him to and I would never). I got kicked out soon after I graduated and I suspect it had something to do with the social security checks they were getting for me (because my mother died) had stopped. Looking back I’m ashamed of what I did. Being 15/16 I thought I knew it all. And I made the biggest mistake of my life. That first meeting can go so well but its no indicator of how things will go in the future.
Wife was adopted at birth. She has no interest in her bio-family. She says her adopted parents are her only parents. The bio-family has tried to reach out to us by sending letters every few years. My wife just rips them up and throws them away as soon as she realized it is from them. Usually within the first sentence. I have been tempted to piece it together and read them. But I respect her wishes not to. Plus she would never forgive me if I did.
My friend and his sister went looking for their dad in their late teens/early 20s.
He found out his sister and dad hooked up a few times. It was a weird family secret.
Both my mom and her sister were adopted (from a different set of biological parents). My mom's mother refused contact and didn't tell her (later) family about her. They only found out after she died. My mom had made up a bunch of exotic stories to cope (including her tribe in Afghanistan where she happened to live in her early years (back before the Soviet invasion). I found out after both my mom and her bio mom were dead, the former from a drug overdose, the latter from diabetes at an early age. My mom's sister was the product of rape.
Moral of the story: you're probably not descended from royalty. Be prepared for a tragic story, as best case scenario is your parents had no means of providing for you and gave you up willingly and out of love.
I grew up with my bio mom, but not my dad. I was around 10 when mom told me the man I called dad wasn't my actual father and that he 'adopted' me. Having been completely sheltered and naive, I only partially understood. Grew up not really caring, but also realizing i was a little different from the rest of my siblings (drastically different interests and personalities, not really physically).
Fast forward to age 26 and I get a Facebook message out of the blue, from some chick claiming to be my sister. I thought it was a hoax at first, but then realized it was legit. Ended up meeting my aunt and grandparents shortly after for the first time. It was surreal. I went from having 8 siblings, to adding another 3 to that.
Mom finally told me a little about him. Not much though, I think she was still trying to protect me. She said he ran drugs to Cali and that's why she dumped him. I didnt press the matter.
A few months later after I met my grandparents, I find out my grandfather is dying and I should visit. That's when I met my bio dad.
He stepped out and I knew it was him immediately. How? I'm not sure, his eyes where covered by sunglasses, I didnt see much of his face. I gave him a hug. We had no history of hard feelings. I also met my teenage brother. But after watching him interact with others, I realized quickly he was likely the same as he had been 27 years ago. He was childish in that teenage boy douchebag manner. He spoke to my brother as if he was stupid. In fact, he talked to everyone as if they where stupid, but spoke to me as if I was an angel. I knew this game and wasn't going to play it. I talked about how my mom was doing, and a little about my childhood. I asked if he had more questions, he could have my number. He acted thrilled, because he had 'so many questions.'
Every weekend for two months I would get a text asking if he could call. I said yes everytime. No call ever came.
I didn't respond to the last 'Can I call you this weekend?' text. I don't have time for that s**t.
Long story short, I gained siblings, grandparents and aunts but no dad. I had one anyway, so no loss there.
Not me, but my wife.
Overall, it went about as well as she could reasonably have hoped. She only met her mom, the "worst" part was that the waitress came to take our orders, and her bio-mom just blurted out the whole situation to the waitress, which made my wife (and the poor waitress) very uncomfortable.
Other than that, it was "okay". No real resentment, and my wife walked away thinking the adoption was probably for the best. She does get along well with her siblings, the mom is a friend on facebook, but it was just the one meeting (geography isn't the *only* factor, but probably the biggest one).
My mom was adopted. She didn't meet her bio parents until she was an adult. I think the initial meeting went pretty well, but ultimately none of them are in contact with each other now because they don't like one anther, but they gave it a good go and now they know what's up.
I am currently 21, met my birth mom last year. my “real” parents never hid the fact that I was adopted, I've known for years.
We met in NYC, it was her first time on the east coast, and since I’ve grown up on the east coast my entire life, I gave them a tour of the city and we both got tattoos together from a gumball machine! Fun time.
I was so nervous to actually meet her and was a little awkward at first, but only for like half an hour, until I realized just how similar we really are. It’s crazy that no matter what conditions you’ve grown up in, your genetics really do affect what kind of person you become. I think that’s something non-adopted people really don’t think about.
All in all, great experience, I haven’t seen her since she lives in SoCal, but we keep in touch through Instagram/texting often. I love my real parents, I love my birth parents, and I appreciate both of their honesty about why things happened as they did.
If you’re nervous about meeting a birth parent, that’s normal. for me, it was totally worth it and even helped me learn more about myself through watching her. I can’t wait to meet her again someday!
My adoption was arranged during the pregnancy and I was transferred over to my adoptive family soon after my birth. My mom and dad told me I was adopted when I was old enough to understand that concept (between five and six years old), but my interest in that side of my life didn't really come into play until late high school and early college. Just after graduating college, my dad revealed to me that their adoption lawyer slipped the full names of my biological parents during the process and that he remembered them. They both attended my school's veterinary program, so there was a chance I could find pictures of them if I wanted to know their names. I did; I found the pictures and held onto them for four years before taking action.
I tracked them down on Facebook. Names can only get you so far, so I sent messages to the two people who seemed to most closely match what I knew about them (comparing to pictures from the 90s, geography, current jobs, etc.). My biological father responded and was incredibly welcoming. He and my biological mom had a second son three years after me, and then divorced several years after his birth. She has asked to remain anonymous for now, which I fully respect. I email my biological father somewhat routinely and we are in the process of planning our first meet up in the coming months. I text my biological brother just about every day, and we are stoked to meet each other.
While I don't think I will ever consider my biological father my "dad," I think I could see it being similar to an uncle I'm close with. You can't just make the bond between a father and son through blood, but there's enough magnetism there to keep us connected. I already consider my biological a brother, though. He was just so damn excited to hear that he had an older brother, just as much that I was excited to hear I had a younger one. I see us becoming very good friends.
I hold zero resentment towards either my biological parents for the decision they made. I think they made the right call, as at the time they were loaded with student debt and hadn't even taken the exams to qualify them for the careers they were studying for. There was a ton of uncertainty in their lives and they wanted me to have the best shot, and by all accounts I have had a very good life so far. Of course I would hope that my biological mother would come around and talk to me at some point, but if she doesn't, I understand. I can't even imagine the mix of emotions she probably experienced when my biological father told him that I had made contact.
not me but my best friend growing up, she was eager to meet her dad when she learned he still lived in our same town, she met him and said it was like meeting any random adult, nothing particularly special, she still likes she was able to connect and still ocasionally meet with him.
I was adopted/raised by my grandparents. I was told this far back as I can remember. My mom and I had a good relationship growing up, she was in the military and moving around a bit, but we'd see each other at least 2x a year if not more depending.
Met my Bio mom last year. She was a senior in high school when she had me. I was her only child. It was a bit awkward at first but we shared stories and pictures. We exchange texts and send cards for Birthdays etc. I have a great family and wasn't looking for a Mom. We are more like friends. I found we have a lot of the same personality traits.
Hoping to met up with my Bio Dad this spring. Bio Dad has 3 children. They ,my half siblings, haven't reached out to me. I'm ok with that as I probably shook them up when I popped up on their family tree on 23 and Me.
I was adopted at birth and met my biological mother the day before my 18th birthday. We have a good relationship but not close (she is east coast I am south coast). We talk several times throughout the year and are planning a trip this summer. We have a blast when we get together but have led very, very different lives. She is career focused and while I work, I'm family focused. I was born when she was 17 and I had my first at 18.
I never met my biological father. He was about 29ish when I was born. He was an alcoholic then and I'm pretty sure that's the way he died. After years of searching, my ex found his death certificate 2 years after he passed. I wish I had a chance to tell him that I'm ok and I'm grateful he did the adoption.
I met my bio mom about 6 years ago. We were just alike. Like it was insane. We both wore chokers all the time, changed our hair color, had the same type of walk, and both had purple hearing aids. I look just like her too. She struggled with addiction and died a few months ago. I had to set healthy boundaries but it was tough. I miss her though. It's been hard.
The first time I met her she was in the hospital. My bio gramma picked me up and we went to the store. I grabbed an "Its a girl balloon." I was so nervous. When I walked into the room I saw someone who was just as nervous as me, and we hit it off really well.
I know who my dad is but have no desire to have a relationship with him. And he feels the same.
I was adopted when I was 6 days old, I've meet my biological mom, she was 19nwhen she had me. For my biological dad he came from Jordan and told my bio mom a different name, so I've never meet him. The US government doesn't know he is, or they don't want to tell me.
When I was six I realized I had an extra grandma. My mom explained that my dad had adopted me, and my biological father was someone else. I said “I have two dads?” Mom pointed to Dad and said, “*This* is your dad. The other man is your biological father.”
“What does biological mean?”
“It means ... the man who helped make you. Everyone has one.”
So naturally I just assumed everyone had a secret dad. I remember pitying my friends at school and wondering when they would find out about theirs.
I insisted on meeting him, but when I did I was unpleasantly surprised. He scared me. He’s a little guy - short and heroin thin - but he has a voice for radio. It doesn’t match him. When he opened his mouth and this big booming voice came out, I thought it was a trick. I figured there must be a big guy hiding somewhere and doing the talking.
That’s of course just my little-kid brain’s response to his physical appearance and voice. Our relationship isn’t good but I don’t mean to correlate the two, it’s just coincidence.
Some what related. My mom was adopted as a baby. A few years ago, she did a DNA test and was able to connect with a second cousin. The second cousin was able to give her information about her birth mother, but also said he was not close to that side of the family.
My mom did a little research and discovered that her biological mother died in 2005. But, she had a daughter. My mom sent a letter to the daughter letting her know that she (my mom) was adopted as a baby and she had some questions if the daughter was willing to answer them. She also said she understood if the daughter did not want to speak with her.
The daughter really didn't have much to say. I think it was shocking to her. She mentioned that there's an aunt who's alive out west, but not to contact her under any circumstances. She said the aunt is private. The daughter did reveal that *she* was adopted by my mom's biological mother.
My uncle was also adopted. His biology dad slept around and he's connected with quite a number of half siblings. His bio mother is still alive. He reached out to her and she outright rejected him. Told him not to contact her, leave her alone, do not speak to her. He took it badly.
My aunt was adopted, so was her sister (different sets of bio parents). My aunt reached out to her bio mom in her mid 30s. Bio mom agreed to meet her and told her that she's not regretting her decision, glad she made that choice, given how my aunt turned out and to not contact never ever her again.
My aunt has a successful career, a nice husband and a beautiful daughter...
She took it really hard, she's now approaching her 50s and she never got over that statement.
Aunt's sister never tried to contact her parents, out of fear that the same will happen to her.
I'm adopted, as well. Met my birth mom at 39: there's a long "Jerry Springer-type" story that I won't go into here, but one thing I learned is that most moms are really okay learning that we ended up in better circumstances. As a mom, myself, all I've ever wanted for my kids is their happiness and success, however they define it. If you get the chance, feel free to express that. It may hurt her a little, but it will also likely relieve the burden of guilt she carries.
My adoption wasn't a good one - abusive adoptive mom - so I didn't have a good outcome to report, but my birth mom desperately wanted to know that my life turned out better than she could have provided.
Just think about it.
I did, when I was 36. Father was dead, died in the 1970s. Met mother, it went very well. Learned a lot and stayed in regular touch until she died a few years ago.
The first time I met my b-mother(biological mother) was at some music festival between 6 and 12 years of age. I didn't know there was an arrangement between my adoptive parents and b-mother where they agreed she was supposed to stay away from me until I turned 18.
On my 18th birthday b-mother called the house and asked if my parents were there. I handed the phone to them, they then handed the phone back to me and introduced me to my b-mother. A week later I truly met her for the first time. Not long after that I met at my b-father.
My first meeting with my mother went well. Her and my two younger half-siblings (16F and 12M if I remember correctly) showed up at my place and we had pizza before walking around town. They left after 3 hours of greet/meet and later that night we arranged meetings for every 3 months until my b-mother's drinking drove me away.
My b-father and I met at a small cafe six months after my a-father(adoptive father) committed suicide. After eating a brunch with him and my a-mother(adoptive mother) I stayed at his place for the weekend. We try to see each other five or six times a year although last year we were only able to get together once. That weekend was spent drinking and smoking, meeting other relatives from his side of the family, and was the most like an adult I have ever felt. He and my b-grandfather(biological grandfather) quickly rose to the top of the most cynical, generous, and hard-working individuals I have ever met and while my b-grandfather died I still keep in touch with my b-father.
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