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Adoption Brings Surprises Later In Life

Adoption was often a secret business. Families were encouraged to keep adoption a secret and pretend that the adoptive parents were the birth parents. The social stigma of birth outside marriage also pushed mothers to maintain the silence.

Now, though, adoptees and birth parents are trying to find each other. And their success often means that other family members are surprised to find layers to their personal story and that of their parents that they had never known existed.

We talk with people who have found themselves in that situation - discovering siblings long after parents have died. And we also talk with people who were adopted or adopted out their children. They tried to re-unite in later life but found that their new relatives were not always happy that a buried element of their past had been dug up.


Kristi, who has found a sibling she did not know about

Support comes from

Teri Brown, author of "The Adoption Records Handbook"

Linda McCrossin, adoptee who sought her birth family

Mary Buckley, International Soundex Reunion Registry

Copyright 2015 KNPR-FM. To see more, visit
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