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Where has the time gone? It was almost a year ago that I received an email from a television show that offered to help search for my supposed Vietnamese foster mother. The application requires a large amount of personal information. I start to fill it out, then stop, start filling it out again, then stop again. My mind seems trapped in the risk/benefit analysis of giving up my privacy to complete strangers and the slim chance of finding a woman who isn’t even my mother.
During my interview with John Safran, he brought up the subject of privacy rights vs. birth searches. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to convey the thoughts I’d expressed in an earlier conversation with a fellow adoptee. Some people seem to focus on the privacy of parents over the need for an adoptee to know, but there’s more to it than that. Many adoptees have to give up their privacy in order to even begin a search. Many of us have to trust complete strangers with information of which we’re usually very protective. We become ripe for exploitation. Then there’s that devastating disappointment when nothing is found.
Thinking about it makes me want to scream at woman considering giving up their babies to stop. Do they understand the vulnerable position in which they place us? Did they ever consider it? I’m sure many were convinced they were doing what was best for themselves and their babies. Maybe they were in some situations, but it doesn’t feel like it from where I’m standing now.
Part of me dreads another disappointment. I’ve so far sent out two inquiries. One ran into a dead end. The other never got back to me, not even to tell they were still looking or to say they’d found nothing.
So I waffle back and forth, filling out the form a little each day as I continue to weigh the costs against the potential benefits. I know I’ll eventually send it. How can I not?