NOLA Radio Interview on Meeting My Birthmother

By Patricia Ann Knight Meyer | Adoption

Mar 12

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Just wanted to take a quick moment to thank WHIV 102.3 and NOLA Matters host Dominique McCuster for having me on the show to share the story of my adoption reunion.

I hope listeners enjoyed it, and I hope my story can in some way help others better understand adoptees’  desire to search and the process of doing so. In addition to sharing my story, we talked about how to begin a search and prepare for reunion. You can listen to my WHIV interview here,  watch the video of my reunion with my birth father here and read the full story behind my conception here.

Here are a few of the resources mentioned during the show. Please don’t hesitate to email me for helpful search tip, advice on search and reunion and general support.

Local resources

1. If born in Louisiana, register with Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services. You can submit an application, and if both parties apply to meet they will be matched. Each party is required to take 1 hour of counseling before contact can be made.

State Reunion Registry
Louisiana Voluntary Adoption Registry
P.O. Box 3318
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
Toll Free: (800) 259-2456
World Wide Web: http://www.dss.state.la.us/offocs/html/registry.html

Reunion Registry
Louisiana Voluntary Adoption Registry
P.O. Box 3318
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
Toll Free: (800) 259-2456
World Wide Web: http://www.dss.state.la.us/offocs/html/registry.html
Adoption Connection of LA
7301 W. Judge Perez, #311
Arabi, LA 70032
(504) 277-0030

Adoption Connection of Louisiana
Adoptees Birthright Committee
P.O. Box 6921
Metairie, LA 70010

Adoption Search Organization
8154 Longwood Drive
Denhan Springs, LA 70726

Lost and Found
Andrea Kenyon
18343 Weatherwood Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70817
(225) 769-2456

2. Start by writing down everything you know with as much detail as possible. If you know the city, county, parish and/or date of your birth, you can use birth indexes to narrow down a list of names of women listed as giving birth in that place on that day – look for babies with no name given paired with no father listed.

3. Sites such as Ancestry.com, Adoption.com, CousinConnect can help and mail order DNA tests can also be helpful. They can help you determine your ancestry and the likely hood of certain diseases.

4. Send your DNA to FamilyTreeDNA.com. This site is an autosomal DNA test that automatically finds your relatives within several generations. If they are on the site you can connect with them, and that can open a lot of doors and lead to reunion fairly quickly.

6. Recruit a Search Angel for help. Contact me for references – many of the best Angel’s don’t charge for their services.

7. Consider posting a plea for help on social media and Facebook.

TIPS FOR REUNION

  • Reunions can sometimes happen quickly. Often the searcher, nor the found parent or adoptee, has had time to prepare and this can be very overwhelming. Often birth mothers have worked hard to keep this past in the past, and when it all comes rushing back decades later it can be very tumultuous emotionally. Some birth mother’s including my own initially, may have not told their spouses or their children. Time to process needs to be allowed, and there are many boundaries that need to be respected early on.
  • I volunteer my time helping people new to reunion, and I advise both parties to educate themselves about the process of reunion. I have a list of recommended books here in the right navigation of my blog . I strongly recommend that adoptees and birth parents read all they can about reunion before meeting.
  • Reunion can be VERY elating but also very emotionally precarious. I recommend baby steps, and to remember reunion is not about just two or three people – it affects everyone on all sides from all families.
  • Reunion can be as big if not bigger than a marriage, death, divorce and in many way similar to bringing a new baby home – it can be that emotionally charged and should be approached with the utmost care and patience.

Good luck and please don’t hesitate to contact me.

About the Author

~ “Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland I am this: Reunited Adoptee/Daughter, Inspired Writer/Author, Wanna Be Yogi/Techie, Advocating Adoption Reform/Komen 3-Day 60 Mile Walker, Hungry Organic/Optimist, Lover of Coffee/Wine/Cheese, that’s me.