EPISODE 18: Finding Long-Lost Biological Parents – It’s Complicated

A woman who was adopted at birth receives an unexpected package – a folder containing the identity and contact information of her biological mother. Should she contact her mother? Should she ignore the information and move on with her life? Charlie tackles the complicated topic of adopted children who find their birth parents (and shares her own story of finding her father). This week’s problem was sent to in to Ask Amy at the Chicago Tribune.


Dear Amy: I am 43 years old and was adopted at birth. I had the usual curiosities about my biological parents growing up, but have wonderful parents and siblings and never went looking for my biological parents.

I was given my adoption file by an acquaintance who worked in the law office that handled my adoption. I wouldn’t have opened it, but when she gave it to me, she felt the need to tell me everything it contained and also that she had found my biological mother and knew where she lived. I ended up looking at the file and finding her on Facebook. I found out that she has a daughter.

My problem is that, although I never intended on finding her, I now know some information and am increasingly curious about finding more answers. I am really interested in knowing who my biological father is (he is not mentioned in the adoption file) before it is too late to get this information. Would it be wrong to send her a message asking who he is? I really don’t want a relationship with her or him. I have an amazing family, and as far as I know she hasn’t ever looked for me. I don’t want to cause undue pain to her, but I feel as if I have a right to know my parentage.

— Curious About My DNA


Have advice or comments about this week’s problem? Leave your feedback and advice in the comments below, via email at ask[at]nobodyasked.com, or via voicemail below.


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