Searching for my Adopted Son; A Three Day Adoption Search on Google

Searching for the Adoptee

Opening the proverbial Pandora’s Box is a very good analogy when one starts an adoption search.

Once bitten by the search bug, I was amazed at the speed and intensity that it took over my very being. I decided to go out on a limb and send my adoption agency an Email:

Over 16 years have gone by since I relinquished my first born son, Max****, through your agency. I have, in the last few years, with the advent of internet communications, come into contact with various other people involved with adoption; other birthmothers, adoptees and adoptive parents.

With these conversations, I have come to realize how truly remarkable and unique my experience with Adoptions with Love was and how very progressive it was in 1987. That I was treated with kindness, caring, & respect; that I never felt brainwashed or coerced in any way; that I was told of my options and availability of services should I decide to parent is something that I will eternally be grateful for. I know that the face of adoption has changed much in the last 17 years and I would assume that AWL has continued to uphold its fine qualities and morph over into more open adoptions. While I fully understand and will continue to honor the closed adoption agreement that I signed at the time, I have often wished that I was not in the era of the traditional closed adoption.

With that said, I do need to ask, is there any way at all I could receive some kind of update on my child? As the years go by I find that my curiosity also grows as I wonder how he has grown and how he is. The baby pictures in my possession don’t continue to have the same quality of comfort as I imagine him driving a car and planning for college. I just so long to see his face and what he looks like now. I would welcome any communication at all. Truly, I would be content and eternally grateful with a mere picture and a quick note: how he is, what he enjoys, etc. Is there any procedure for this kind of thing?

Which leads me to more questions regarding his ability to open my identifying information at age 18:

I have previously signed the waiver allowing this and I assume that it is still considered valid?

Are adoption laws from that time still current or is there anything new I should be aware of?

And could you please tell me what the procedure is for the transfer of information?  I know it’s over a year left until the possibility and it is my understanding that boys have less of a need or take longer to search, but as I find the time approaching I wonder what could happen. Does he just call up and get my name in a sealed envelope? What kind of time frame is to be considered? I’m not expecting a phone call on his birthday, but my nerves have begun to get frayed already and I need to know what to realistically expect.

In the meantime, I’ll take this opportunity to update my file with my current whereabouts. In the event that Max does choose to look for me, he will know where I am. I’ll be waiting along with his two brothers and sister. Let it be noted that he has never been a secret and seeing him would never upset our lives, but only enrich it.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and I look forward to your reply.

Thank you.”

Yeah, I sucked up a little, but it had a purpose.

Adoption Agency Parent Profile Equal Search Clues

Meanwhile, with my old parent profile in hand, I started to look carefully for clues to my child’s identity.

There were certain things that 16 years before meant basically nothing, but now were really good identifiers.

  • I knew that his adoptive mother’s name was Liz as she signed her name in the “Dear Birthmother” letter and afterwards with my two updates.
  • I had a feeling that Dad’s name was Gary since I had a picture of Max at his second Christmas in front of stockings..two matched, one was obviously newer. I assumed that the new one was Max’s and the other older one that I could see really said Gary very clearly.
  • I also did something, that I had never thought to do before. I had a small picture album given to me by them with pictures of their wedding, their house, family shots, etc. For the first time I looked at the BACK of the photos, took them out of their sleeves. And I found I had a wedding date, and on the picture of Dad in his boat the inscription “Gary in his new toy” So Gary it was.
  • Also I had forgotten that they were both accountants.
  • It also mentioned that he had been into investment real estate.
  • Plus I had pictures of what they looked like.
  • And I knew that they had an Italian last name.

Google: an Adoption Searchers Best Friend

Armed with all that I started to Google and try to find my son.

Once I made my search known, my dear Mom2two and Hagar joined me online.
I began with hitting every accountants office and firm in the greater Boston area and combing the pictures.

The first day of the adoption search was spent learning all I could about this one family that turned out to be a red herring.

The second day of the adoption search, I happened on a picture of an accountant named Gary who was practically the spitting image of Max’s dad. It was almost freaky and I was sure that this was it. He had a son and a daughter, but the daughter was older and that didn’t quite fit as I knew Max was their first, but didn’t rule out that maybe they adopted an older child after, or that I was not privy to the full truth. I spent a day combing the internet for everything I could about these poor folks and since the daughter had a LiveJournel, I had allot to go by. Eventually I found the date of her brother’s birthday and that ruled them out.

Now when I say day one and day two, I mean ALL DAY. I did NOTHING but feed my kids and search….until 3am.

Third Day of Adoption Search is the Charm

Keeping my chat window open so that Mom and Hagar and I could compare notes, on day three of the adoption search, after the disappointment of the 2nd family not being them, I went back to what I knew.

I knew that the accountant fact was pretty key so I started to look into CPA licensure. I found a site that listed all the CPA licenses in MA by town and, with my Google highlight on the names Elizabeth and Gary, I went down the lists looking for the two first names with a shared last name. Nothing in all of Boston proper, but when I got to one of the smaller “B” towns..BINGO.

There they were, Elizabeth and Gary, with the same Italian last name.

Once I had the last name, and started Googling on that…it was easy.

Max is a runner and race results are published on the internet with the ages of the kids and their grades. So I was able to confirm that this Liz and Gary had a son who was my son’s age. That was it. I found my son.

With Google, we had addresses, phone numbers. With Intellius ( paid search engine), I had all info including their mortgage and the age of their house. We found pictures online of two kids, who turned out to be the brother Joe and the sister. I knew Dad was into town politics and Mom worked from home. The other kids were into gymnastics, and my Max ran marathons pretty damn well.

Three days after starting my adoption search, I was able to go to bed that night knowing for the first time in 16 and a half years that my son was alive, that he was OK. I knew his name, I knew where he lived, I knew what he did, I knew what school he went to. It was the most amazing feeling on the face of the Earth. For the first time in sooo long I felt some peace.

I knew where my child was. I could get in my car and BE THERE.

It was incredible.

Continue reading……Contact in Adoption 

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About the Author

Claudia Corrigan DArcy
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine, Adopt-a-tude.com, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.

7 Comments on "Searching for my Adopted Son; A Three Day Adoption Search on Google"

  1. It’s amazing the detective skills one develops isn’t it. Wow, that must have felt so good to find him and be able to just relax for a moment, knowing a bit more about how he was doing. It’s so great you are writing your reunion steps too, i must keep going with mine. It’s so validating to read your blog.

  2. Yeah,, I never knew what a great researcher I was until that time! I LOVE to search..there is something so fulfilling about it…like a detective novel or forensic sceience, but it is real with such cool results.

    I have found a few other moms or lost children since then..and it continues to be a great feeling.

    I heard from my Max today and all is well…he’s just really really busy which is good. God, I just adore him. I feel so incedibly lucky and fullfilled to know him now.

    Its strange..no matter how I do have huge issues with adoption in general, and I wish, beyond all else, that I had not placed him, we are at a better place than I ever could have imagined. This is beyond my wildest dreams..better than my fantasy.and it is real.

  3. I heard from my daughter today as well, it really makes me relax inside to get contact from her. And we have a great relationship we are really good friends which is wonderful. I also wish I had never placed but am glad to have such a wonderful connection with her.

  4. mrsjennahatfield | December 25, 2005 at 4:02 am |

    Merry Christmas. 🙂

  5. Merry, Merry, Claud! glad you heard from Max. lucky girl.

  6. Where can I find information if my children where adopted or not? They lived in Saipan. Thanks

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