Yeah, found my mother.

Updated 1998/04/18

Ya see. I'm adopted. Me mum put me up for adoption before I was born, back in the 60s. So I never knew her.

And of course, California being so full of busybody jackasses, it's illegal for anyone to tell me who she is. Illegal for me to even know who she is. Well I know already; just try to prosecute.

I always intended to search, but before I turned into a rip-roaring asshole, I was too much of a wimp to actually do it. I was always hearing about how fucking hard it was, how much money I'd need for bribes, how hard it was to find the right contacts because the DA's office was prosecuting heavily, blah, blah, blah. So I just sat on my butt and twiddled my thumbs.

Well, after I came to college, I learned about an adoptee's search group. Actually, one of my friends (also adopted) learned about them (dunno how) and passed that info on to me. After I graduated, I contacted the group and started searching. My friend joined up too, but never searched: I haven't the faintest idea why not.

Now this is educational, so pay attention.

The first thing anyone's gotta do is to get as much legal information as possible. Generally, that's the hospital you were born in, the agency that served your adoption case, and any "nonidentifying information" that's on file. Usually pretty scant pickings, but every little bit helps.

Hospital and agency you find out by contacting Sacramento. When you've got the agency, you get nonidentifying info from them. This information is stuff like religion, job, age, race, reason for adoption, stuff like that. It varies with the agency, and with what your mom actually put down. Sometimes there's even information about your dad, but you usually can't trust it (the mom often doesn't know who the dad is).

Anyway, even though it's just scraps, every bit of information helps sort through the millions of people in the US. So every bit of information is identifying.

Lucky for me, my mom (in 1986) had sent a letter to the agency that she wanted passed on to me if I ever went searching. The agency still had the letter, so when I asked for nonidentifying information, they passed the letter on to me, I called the phone number in the letter, and bingo! There she was.

That's gotta have been the luckiest break of my life.

As it happens, my mom was still friends with my dad, so we started talking on the phone. To be sure, we had a genetic paternity test done, and, well, he wasn't my dad.

Then he died of testicular cancer.

But, I've got my mom, and when I've got enough time again, I'll go back to searching for my dad.

Do I get an award of something for writing a web page that actually has no links or graphics in it?

Jon Paul Nollmann