Finding Fathers

A few weeks back a close friend contacted me and shared some surprising news. During a recent visit with her elderly mother, she learned that the father she has considered her father for over 40 something years is, well, not her “real” father.  Shocked by the news (much like a late discovery adoptee would be although friend is not technically an adoptee) she contacted me and requested my assistance in locating her biological father.

It took me a few days to track him down.  Thanks to her mom, she had a great deal of information regarding her bioDad but the man is in his 70s (yes, still alive) and did not have a very large digital footprint. Through our perseverance we found him and she sent him a letter via FedEx. We have a confirmation of receipt and signature. We also made contact to several extended family members (her half siblings).  While she was very generic in her outreach to the half sibs (citing genealogical research) she provided Dad with very detailed identifying information.

He has not responded.  He received the package three days ago. From what we understand, he is aware she existed and attempted for five years to be part of her young life but he was blocked by her bio mom and the man that raised her as his own.

Friend is anxious, stymied, upset, confused and more.  We have no way to reach him on the phone, nor are either one of us in a position to say, go knock on his door (over a thousand miles away from both of us).  Friend is going to wait a few more days and follow up with another letter, more information, and perhaps a picture of her.

It is her hope more personal information and a photo will prompt a response from, well, her father.

This brings me to yet another case I am working on. Another friend, an adoptee in reunion with her mother, has decided to search for the father that does not know she exists. This one is likely to be even more challenging as we have only an estimated year of birth and a name but there can be several variations of the spelling.  What intimidates me most is how to approach/write/etc. a man and say “oh, hey, by the way, your girlfriend in 1980 something other? She had a kid and never told you. The kid now wants to know you.”  I am being sarcastic of course, I wouldn’t say it like that but I am genuinely stymied on language.

I have conducted several hundred searches to date. All were successful and by that I mean I found the moms or children and all were welcomed (to varying degrees).  This is my first two cases involving fathers.

If you are a father in reunion, would you share your experience? What went well? Poorly? What could have been done differently?

If you are an adoptee who found your father, how did that go? Did he know about you or not? What advice would you give another adoptee looking to find and connect with a father that does not know she exists?

I am naturally curious for my own benefit (future searches) but also would like to share insights with my two friends. 


5 Thoughts.

  1. In my case, my daughter wanted to find her natural father. He never knew about her. Not because I didn’t want to tell him but in pre-internet days – 1980, we had already broken up, he moved out of state and I didn’t know how or where to find him. When I found my daughter she of course asked about him and wanted to know where he was. I told my daughter that I thought it best that I contact him first. Somehow it felt better that way. I knew it was going to be quite a shock and maybe reconnecting with him on that level first would ease him into the news. I found him and was the one to tell him about his daughter. I gave him her contact info and left it up to him to connect with her. I don’t know if it was the right way to do it, but it felt right at the time. Maybe the mother would be willing to make first contact.

    • Not sure Carlynne but I understand your point. I also thought it was best if I contacted my daughters father (although he knew full well of her existence and executed a pre birth surrender). It was complicated. I thought it was the right thing to do but in the end, I probably should have left it to her (in my case). It did not go well (for me) to be engaged with him again. I was delusional on how things would go, should go, etc.

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