Searching for birthparents in China (when an adoptee starts to question)

Written by Kay on . Posted in Adoption Stories, Book Recommendations

 

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(Illustration Credit: Mother Bridge of Love)

Recently I received another of many similar letters from an adoptee, asking me if I had any advice on how to search for her birthparents in China. While this is the words from one wise girl, there are others out there like her:

I recently read your book, Chasing China“. I absolutely loved it! I was very touched by the story. I was adopted from China. The whole aspect of “the finders” was quite intriguing. I would like to seek out my biological family, and don’t know where to start. Do you have any suggestions? I don’t think I’ll be able to travel to China anytime soon. I also have complete support from my adoptive parents in this search. I would really appreciate any advice you could offer on going about this. I understand the concept is like searching for a needle in the haystack, but I still would like to at least try. 

At first because I thought she might be underage, I was hesitant to answer. And while I was considering just how to answer, I asked the advice of the pros….the adoptive parents in my circle. I received some amazing advice and in addition to advising adoptees that they should read my memoir, Silent Tears; A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage, to get an idea of the culture of a social welfare institute (orphanage in China), I am working on putting together a document that will consists of tips, groups, websites, and advice pertaining to finding birth parents in China. You are welcome to ask for it via contacting me on my website, or I’ll also be discussing it on my newsletter. You can subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/q9_2X

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In the meantime, I received another message from another adoptee. Her words brought tears to my eyes and made me realize (or re-emphasize) that I need to treat these inquiries with the utmost respect and compassion. Her name is Mallory Anderson and she’s a young woman who I think you will agree, has a way with words. She has given me permission to share her note:

Hi Kay Bratt, Not sure if you know me, but my name is Mallory Anderson, and I noticed your recent post about a young women who is wanting to find her birth parents. I am adoptee from China, and I remember as a young adopted kid from China, the thought of my birth parents sometimes came up and I would have mix feelings about it. When I saw your post last night, it really touched me, and reminded me of how I used to feel as a young child. Torn between the amazing parents I was meant to have, and yet not knowing of how I came to be here. For the past few months, I’ve been feeling that I in any way I can, I should help others as they deal with these feelings. But now that I’m older, I know that my past doesn’t define who I am, or who I will become. What I’ve been through has shaped me into the kind of women I am today. I just wanted to give my personal opinion since I was adopted and have no clue who my birth parents are. So a little about me, I was adopted when I was 3 and a half, coming to American in December of 93. Growing up for me, there was never a doubt that my adopted parents were the parents that God gave me, or the parents I was always meant to be with. I love my parents so much, and I am exactly like my mom. But sometimes it comes to my mind, and you can never fault adopted kids for thinking this way, of who were my birth parents? As an adopted kid, it’s always a running thought of who were they. Now that I’m older and know more about China, how the whole adopted situation goes on, as well as the politic in China, I’ve been a little more interested in myself. I definitely do not think of her asking is bad, and whether she is younger or older, it’s important to listen, to hear what she is searching for. This is about her and how she feels, and it is always important to respect all feelings when it comes to a situation like this, but it will effect her more than the adopted parents. So personally if there is any way of making her feel better about her birth parents, I would try. I hope this helps, because I noticed all the post were very helpful parents or caring friends, so I thought it would be nice to hear from an adoptee from China.

Best wishes, Mallory Anderson

Well, yes, Mallory, it is helpful to hear from an adoptee and I appreciate you taking the time to pour out your thoughts as well as grant permission for them to be public. While every adoptive parent I’ve ever come in contact with is very supportive in their child’s requests to know more about their pasts, if there are any out there who are questioning the pros and cons then maybe your words and that of the first adoptee’s above (thanks goes out to her, too!) will help them gain a new perspective. Many thanks to all who have contributed to the document of Birth Family Search Tips that I am compiling and will freely give out to all who ask (as long as they are 18 or older).

~Kay Bratt

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Comments (25)

  • Darla

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    It is wonderful to hear from someone first hand. My daughter wonders about her birthparents often. I know she loves us dearly but I also know her. She has questions and craves to know why, who, and when. My job as her mother is to listen and to do. I am up front with her as much as I can be with a very sensitive 9 yr old. We talk about the hard feelings. We cry together, we hold each other. I know that my daughter wants to take that trip back to China. And when she is a little older we will. There are many adopted adults/children that have been adopted in the states as well and face the same desire. I know several that were devastated by the results. As parents, we always want to protect our children. I love one thing that she said in her comments-“they should always be listened to.” and that they should. Thank you so much for sharing this. For my daughter, I want to be the one that supports her and helps her search. Be there when things get hard. This is not something I would want her to face alone or with strangers.

    Reply

  • KINSEY

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    I have try to find my biology mother & biology father. I am thing they are sittle in china

    Reply

  • Kay Bratt

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    Good points, Darla.

    Kinsey, you can use the CONTACT ME button on my home page to send me an email if you are over 18. Thank you.

    Reply

  • John

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    Hi — I would love to have your ” birth family search tips”
    also, regarding hospital records in China … are you allowed to ask for them — knowing your orphanage, date of birth, birth first name etc. ?
    Do the Chinese have “geneolgy detectives” ?
    Thank you
    John

    Reply

  • Jennifer

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    I would love to have your birth family search tips to help my daughter, now age 14, search for her birthparents and any siblings. Thank you!

    Reply

  • Kay Bratt

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    Hi John and Jennifer,

    Please use the ‘contact’ button at the top of this web page to send me an email so that I can reply with my family-search-summary.

    thank you,
    Kay

    Reply

  • Whitney Touchton

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    I would love a copy of your birth parent search tips emailed to me. I have a young daughter adopted from China and I would love to potentially find out more information about her background and her birth parents if possible while the trail is still fresh. Then I’ll have it available to share with her when she is older if she is interested. Thanks!

    Reply

  • Jane Hoffman

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    I would like a copy of the birth family search tips. Thanks!

    Jane

    Reply

  • Ann

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    I would love a copy of your birth parent search tips emailed to me!

    Thanks

    Reply

  • Derwood Cuff

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    Could you please send me your birth famil u search tips.

    Reply

  • Maritha Sanandh

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    Hej
    I would be grateful if you e-mailed me your search tips. We have to daughters born in China.

    Reply

  • Alistair Napier

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    Our 12 year old adopted daughter from China is experiencing something of an identity crisis due to her (and our) lack of knowledge of her birth parents. We are prepared to do anything to help her and would be grateful if you could send us some search tips.

    Reply

  • Tom Fisher

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    I wrote a review on how great The Palest Ink is on the Amazon page and the GoodReads page.

    Reply

  • Charles Lockhead

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    We would love a copy of your BirthFamily Search tips sent to us, too, please. We have 4 adopted children from China.

    Reply

  • Chris

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    I would love a copy ofyour BirthFamily Search tips. We have 2 adopted children from China. Our oldest is seven years old and the questions are starting already. I would love to start the research now so that we can fill in as many gaps as possible and be ready for the future questions.

    Reply

  • Edye Benedict

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    Hello! I would love a copy of your tips. I am 19 years old and was adopted when I was estimated to be about a year old. I’ve toyed with the idea of trying to find information about my birth parents for years, and I’ve decided recently to do my best. Although I have incredibly limited information, I could use any advice I can get.

    Reply

  • Anja

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    Would greatly appreciate a copy of your Family Search Tips as well, please. I’ve only just recently found out I’m one of China’s ‘missing daughters’ – I always assumed my parents were my birth parents and that my Chinese genes just overpowered my white genes (which now, of course, I know I don’t even have).

    I don’t think there’s much chance of me finding my birth parents but it’s still reassuring to know there are others out there like me. I’m grateful to have found this website and I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. I didn’t even know I was adopted – there are no adoption papers, and I’m pretty sure it was done back of house.

    Reply

  • Anne

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    Borh of my daughters age 18 and 22 would love ti find their birthparents and some nce we are returning to China this summer I would love to help them in any way I can! Any help would be awesome!

    Reply

  • Lynn Assimacopoulos

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    My new book called “Separated Lives” is a true story about the adoption of a baby boy and years later a friend taking him on a fascinating but uncertain journey to search for his birth parents. It is available from Dorrance Publishing (in Pittsburgh,PA) http://www.DorranceBookstore.com, Barnes& Noble barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com.

    Author: Lynn Assimacopoulos

    Reply

  • Carol Cradock

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    We are just about to begin the search in earnest for our daughters Chinese birth family and would appreciate you providing your tips and advice, thanks a lot, Carol

    Reply

  • Ellie Shelburne

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    My 14 year old daughter originally adopted from Jiangxi Province has finally had the courage to ask for me to begin a birth parent search. I would love any information that you can send as we begin this journey.

    Reply

  • Erika McCarthy

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    Hi, I have an 18 year old daughter who is so very eager to search for her birth parents and I would love to have your tips to give to her. She is from Anhui province and was in the Hefei Welfare Orphanage. Many thanks, Erika

    Reply

  • Joyce Davis

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    I am an adoptive parent of a 10 year old who has started to express an interest in searching for birth parents. (Her 8 year old brother has not expressed an interest, yet). I would love to have your tips to read over and guide her. Thanks!

    Reply

  • Ann Bozich

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    I have an adopted daughter from China and would love your tips to help search for her birth family. She has started expressing a desire for this.
    Thank you, ann

    Reply

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