Adoption Reunions were hardly heard of before the early 1980’s when the talk show hosts started putting biological families back together in front of a live studio audience, broad-casted at 4:00 p.m. coast-to-coast. There was no bigger leader in the reunion shows then Oprah.
At that time I was married to an adopted man. We were only 18 and 19 when we got married and we had two children by the time we were 23 years old. My ex-husband had been adopted during the early 1960’s when everything about adoption was very different. Back then there was a real good chance an adopted child might not even be told they were adopted. Pregnant women were pressured into placing their babies for moral reasons and everything was kept a secret.
In the early 1980’s things really started to change, in part because society was witnessing all of these remarkable reunions televised in great fan fair. It started to become nearly a requirement for adopted people to want to search and reunite. Almost the first questions my ex-husband would be asked was, “Have you found your real mother yet?”
I recall, watching the reunion shows with great interest. My ex-husband had said he was not interested in searching and I respected him for the choice he made. However, it was very clear most of our 14 year marriage that he did have adoption related issues. It was also very interesting to be the mother of children who had an adopted father. While we did have half of the family medical history and genealogy we didn’t have the other half.
For the past year I have been witnessing a reunion from the distance so to speak. My ex-husband has located his biological parents and a full sibling sister. His birthparents married after he was born and placed for adoption and are still married today. Our children have been able to meet their biological grandparents and learn about their family history. There are family members my children say they look a lot like and that has been interesting for me.
I am thankful that today there is more awareness about openness in adoption. Birthparents are an important part of our children’s lives and as an adoptive parents I don’t worry about the future and any contact my children may have with their biological families. My job is to help them grow up safe, healthy and strong enough to face the whole truth about their lives and who they are. That includes the real possiblity they may want to reunite.