“CHAIN” Encourages Biological Family Reconnection
Great news! Adopted at age 22 months, and she was reunited with her mother and siblings after 22 years!!
Children who are adopted as babies or at very young ages often desire to search out their biological families when they become older. In most cases they are not successful, for various reasons. With the help of “CHAIN” Resource Parent Group of Maryland, Patricia was able to reconnect with her mother and siblings.
M’s. Holmes had been a foster parent for six years before the Department of Social Services contacted her about a 22-month-old baby girl that was available for adoption. The baby was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Even though M’s. Holmes, a single parent, was already fostering three teenage girls; she accepted the baby girl and changed her first name to Patricia. The last name the baby had became her middle name, and Peggy was given the family’s last name of Holmes. (It is a common practice for children’s names to be changed when they are adopted)
Mrs. Holmes adopted Patricia with very little information about her biological family except that her father was deceased, and her mother was incarcerated. She didn’t even know if Patricia had any siblings. Even though Patricia grew up with severe intellectual limitations, she always wanted to know if she would ever find out anything about her biological family.
In August 2013, CHAIN provided M’s. Holmes an opportunity to attend a conference given by NACAC (North American Council of Adoptable Children) in Toronto, Canada, that had a workshop that emphasized the importance of allowing adopted children the right to find out whom their biological relatives are. This workshop inspired M’s. Holmes to help Patricia find out about her family, and by networking with other adoptive and foster parents in the CHAIN organization, she found out about another adoptive parent connected with CHAIN, who had raised two children that had the same last name as Peggy’s middle name.
When M’s. Holmes contacted that parent, they realized that the two children she adopted were actually Patricia's sister and brother, and the adoptive parent was actually Patricia's maternal aunt. A reunion was then arranged for Patricia to meet her aunt, and her sister on her sister's 29th birthday, and also her older brother. This was a very joyous occasion because her older sister had been searching the Internet for years trying to locate her sister that had been adopted as a baby.
The second reunion was when Patricia and her siblings went to visit her mother who is currently in a nursing home. This was like a dream come true for Patricia, her siblings, and her mother. Patricia has now reconnected with her mother and siblings, and her mother had the opportunity to see all her children together again. Patricia is now 22 years old, and she was adopted when she was 22 months.
This is the reason "CHAIN" encourages adoptive parents not to be afraid to allow children to search for their biological family members so they can feel complete.