Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Searching for Birth Families and Birth Information

Depending on the age of your child at adoption, the circumstances of their adoption, and where they were adopted from (Casa Privada or ICBF), you may have a wealth of information about your child's heritage, or virtually nothing. There may be huge gaps.

One of the toughest things for me is not having any birth information and no pictures of our son younger than about 15 months. A child with NO baby pictures. How do you complete those school projects -- you know the one in Kindergarten where kids bring baby pictures and others try to guess who is who?

Often, the adoptive parents struggle with wanting to know more than what was provided them. So, the question of searching for the birth family arises. There are some pretty nice stories. Leceta Chisholm Guibault, an adoptive mother of a Colombian child born at a Casa Privada, lives in Canada and made efforts to find her son's birth family. She has published several articles about her experience. I would suggest that you take the time to read the following:


In Leceta's experience, her son was placed for adoption by a conscientious birth mother who truly desired the best for her son. But, what if your child's history is not so pleasant? Would you want to search if the birth mother was a drug addict, sleeping on the streets and had abandoned the baby in the hospital. Would you want to search if the birth family was abusive and the child was taken from the family as a result of that abuse? Would you want to search if the child was found abandoned in the garbage?

Please post your opinions in the comment section.
I am preparing some posts on the search for birth families or simply the search for birth and early childhood information. If you have searched, are searching or want to search -- I would love to hear your story. Please e-mail me at colombiansadoptcolombians @ hotmail.com. (Please remove the spaces before and after the @ symbol).

5 comments:

Dan & Karen said...

Our boys had a tough life before they came into ICBF care. The oldest (now 10) does have some interest in seeing his birth family and wonders about where they are and what they are doing. We have told him that when he is grown he could return and search for them, so we will see where he is then. At this point, we don't intend to do any searching although we do fairly frequenty talk about them in an effort to not have secret information they will discover later and help them to reconcile where they were with where they are now.

Erin said...

I think about this a lot. Our son was in less than ideal conditions with his birth family before he was taken into care by ICBF. Yet there are missing pieces to the story that I am curious about. Despite our son's early experiences, I would like to meet his first family. We will most likely wait until he is much older and see if he is interested in searching. With the little bit of information we have it might be difficult, but I think we have enough to try. Does ICBF or any other Colombian group provide any assistance with this?

Colombian Mommy said...

Hey Erin,
I would suggest 2 things:

1- Did you get the complete ICBF file on your son following your Sentencia? If so, then that is all the info ICBF has and it will be about all the help you will get from them.

2-There is a Yahoo group for Colombia Adoptees called "Colombian Adoptee Search and Support" many in the group have successfully used private companies and individuals to find their birth families. They are a great resources for asking questions.

PS. Have you seen the Botero exhibit at the Springs art museum yet? We should go together. Send me a private e-mail and we can set it up.

Colombian Mommy said...

After mentioning whether or not you would wan to search for the birth parents of a child that was left in the garbage, I read this this morning in El Tiempo.

Yet another new born was found abandoned, This time in the department of Meta. The little girl, of apparent indigenous background, was found in a vacant lot, naked, and wrapped in a piece of plastic. She was suffering from hypothermia and bug bites.

However, after 3 days in the hospital, she has been placed in a foster home and appears happy and healthy.

No one knows who her biological parents are, though the police are trying to follow some leads.

El llanto que escuchó un habitante del barrio Antonio Pinilla de Villavicencio (Meta) evitó que falleciera María Paula, como llamaron la bebé de 48 horas de nacida abandonada presuntamente por su madre en un potrero del sector.

Dada de alta tres días después de su hallazgo a las 8:30 de la mañana del pasado domingo, la pequeña se encuentra bajo protección en un hogar sustituto del Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (Icbf), dijo Martha Eugenia Solano, directora (E.) del Icbf.

La funcionaria estima que podría tratarse de una bebé de ascendencia indígena, por sus rasgos físicos. Sin embargo precisó que de los padres aún no saben nada, como tampoco la Policía que los busca para judicializarlos.

De acuerdo con la valoración médica hecha a la bebé en la Clínica Meta, se supo que la menor pesó 3.160 gramos y tiene 49 centímetros.

La pequeña estaba cubierta por un pedazo de teja plástica, desnuda, con síntomas de hipotermia y algunas laceraciones en su cuerpo por picaduras de hormigas, precisó el Comando de Policía Meta, condiciones adversas superadas por la bebé durante los tres días que permaneció en la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos Neonatales de la Clínica Meta. “La niña está fuera de peligro y sana”, dijo una funcionaria del Icbf

gina said...

Searching for one's birth parents is a difficult decision to make. I am an adoptive mom and also an adoptee. I chose to search for my birth family. I would not have been very happy though if my parents (adopted) had decided to search for them. That was my decision not theirs.

I have a lot of curiosity about my two children's birth parents. My children were seriously abused and I just wonder who could have done such a thing? Why? It is not my decision to make to find them though. It will be their decision when they are old enough.