Adoption file missing...

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Adoption file missing...

Postby Ellie45 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:37 am

Hi,
I'm in the process of obtaining my full adoption file, (I have had my basic 'birth background information' since 1997) and was told yesterday by the council that have been looking for my full file, that it is missing and that there is nothing else they can do to locate it. They are assuming that the person who did my BB info in 1997, never replaced the file correctly and therefore it 'is like looking for a needle in a haystack'. The person who originally did the search has apparently been retired for some time, so no way of using her for any clues as to where she might have put my file. I have asked to speak to someone in authority at the council and have been give an appointment on this coming Monday. Does anyone know where I stand on this matter, or should I be prepared to let it go?
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Re: Adoption file missing...

Postby julie2009 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:47 pm

Hi Ellie. That must be so maddening for you to hear this. They must have some system in which to relocate files. It could have been misplaced or not filed away properly. It sounds as if they are trying to put the blame on someone else - someone who has retired and therefore cannot be quizzed about it. You say you have a meeting with them on Monday. Do you mind me asking how long ago your original file would be because you would imagine any other files from late 1980s early 1990s would be placed on computer with easy access to the information a person requires.

For the time being Ellie I wouldn't be too hasty about letting the whole matter drop until you hear what your options are.

I hope it all goes well for you.

Take care

Julie xx
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Re: Adoption file missing...

Postby Ellie45 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:10 pm

Hi Julie,
I was adopted in 1970, so well before computerisation! I'm sure that the file wouldn't have been destroyed,surely, so I feel like i should push for them to carry on looking for it. But then, if it's lost amongst god knows how many other files, how on earth could they find it.

Just to also add, I found my birth mother in October last year and it started well-but has since has gone terribly as she doesn't like to answer any questions that I have. This is why I would like to see the full file, as the BM will not tell me anything. Kind of getting the feeling that there is more to my adoption than the Birth Backgound Info suggests. The BM will not speak to me about any of my adoption details-claiming that she can't remember. She also ignored my birthday on the 15th December last year (just two months after finding her), not sure what to make of her. She was so pleased when I found her, but i wonder if it didn't occur to her that I would have lots of questions and that maybe she expected that our relationship would be starting from 'day one', with no need to go into the past?

Her behaviour has made me very curious and also slightly worried that there is something she is hiding. I wish I'd never found her, i have more questions now-than i ever had before.
Be careful what you wish for ...
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Re: Adoption file missing...

Postby julie2009 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:50 pm

Hi Ellie - nice to hear from you. I was adopted my in 1971 - just a year apart from you. I have to say Ellie i had to wait for a few months for my s/w to locate my papers which consisted of 2 A4 sheets of paper which didn't really tell me anything at all. My own BM died at the age of 41.
I only started my search for curiousity reasons after I had my second child things starting niggling away at me. What time was I born at etc.
A lot of people on this forum have all started their search around the age of 40. I managed to locate my BM sister it took some work to do because all I had was her name and the town where she lived but I perservered in the end and found her but what she doesn't know is that before I was able to find her I found my own BF. He didn't even know I existed but my BM sister insisted he did and turned his back on BM when he found out she was pregnant and any time I asked him about her he was very vague in his answers always saying it was so long ago and he couldn't remember back that far.
She was 25 at the time so she wasn't a teenager. I can tell her sister hates him with a passion for what he did to her back then but I just try to keep an open mind on things. There must be a reason by your BM will not talk about the adoption maybe it is too painful for her to recall all what happened but you have a right to know all the details Ellie. I was sorry to read that she ignored your birthday last December. You would imagine that was a date engraved in her heart but for some they try to blank everything out. I think Ellie she would have known that you would have had questions to ask her about the past everyone on this forum would - it is just normal and she should have prepared herself for this. Some of us do not like to drag up the past but we have to sometimes. Do you know any of her other family members you might be able to help you there if she isn't willing to give you any answers - possibly a grandmother or an aunt. According to my BM sister if her mum had of still been alive back then she would never have given me up. Do you still keep in touch with your BM now or has things just fizzled out.

Let me know how you get on on Monday.

Take care

Julie xx
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Re: Adoption file missing...

Postby Ellie45 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:18 pm

Hi Julie,
Thanks for getting back to me again.
The BM said on our first meeting that all of her family were dead. I believed her at the time, but now...who knows. Also,a few things she has said have contradicted what's on the birth background info. Could the background info be wrong or again, is she lying? Do you see why I'm so keen to get hold of the full file? I do actually hope that the file (if it ever is found) will not show up any dark secrets or dramas, but I've got to see it now-just for some clarity. I expect that at some point I'm going to have to ring the BM again and try to open up another conversation, but am dreading it.

I'll post again on Monday when I've met with the lovely, caring and efficient people at the council...

Sarah x
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Re: Adoption file missing...

Postby ladyarcher » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:25 pm

Hi Ellie45....... Councils are terribly efficient at losing things......the County I was born and adopted in and where my bm. lived and also where my a.parents lived have absolutely no idea where my file is, despite me giving them all the addresses, pre and post adoption names, the hospital I was born in, the solicitors who arranged the legal bits, etc......they also denied having any record of my full sister who was sixteen months younger than I, and whose full details I gave them too.....we were sent to different couples for adoption and I only found her two years ago, after a forty year search.......she had only been ten miles away from me all our childhood, and we even went to the same riding stables.......I did not know I had a full sister at that time, and she never knew she had one until we met two years ago..........

...other adoptees, if you read lots of postings on this site and on GenesR and other similar sites, have been told their files were lost in Local Govt. Reorganisation in the 1970s, Fires in Council Offices, it's amazing how many fires there are in the precise office and filing cabinet that adoption files are held in, and also of course, the favourite one, of wartime bombing........ this to people who had been born in the late 1940s, well after the end of the war.....

Back in the 1970s I worked for a while in a large hospital........, we nurses were frequently sent down the the amazing basement that went for miles all under the hospital, where the records were kept.........shelf upon shelf of brown cardboard files, bulging and bits falling out of them as the paperclips and staples rusted away, or the old rubber bands perished and gave way...... sheets of yellowing paper all over the floor, little hope of ever getting them back in the right file. If they have managed to transfer all this stuff onto microfiche, or later computer records it would be a miracle........and these are things about facts that can be life or death in their importance..........what chance have we unimportant adoptees of getting our files.....

If you do manage to get any paperwork, remember that this was not written for you to read..........it was written usually to show the b.m in a poor to very bad light, depending on the sympathy of the social worker at the time......... it was to make sure that an adoption order was made, and it was still at a time when adoption was seen as a method of fertility treatment.......i.e. if you couldn't have a baby you could get one by adoption.......this attitude was still around in the 70s and was a hangover from the 'baby-snatch years' as they were called. Your b.mother would have been told that she would be selfish to keep you, and that others could give you a far better life.......usually moving you a little way up the 'social scale' to a nice middle class family, probably who went to church regularly, etc.....if your b.mother was already in that social level, she would have been told that she would bring shame on her nice middle class family if she kept a baby out of wedlock........ Although the swinging sixties were over, the attitude to unmarried mothers was still well established.

So don't expect too much from your file, you may be lucky.......some will even find a letter has been left by their b.mother, but this was not usual nor encouraged, and most would not even have known it might be allowed........

With regard to finding out if all your b.mother's family are dead, probably her parents would be, or would be so old that it could be tricky to contact them.....on the other hand, if they knew, and worried the rest of their lives about the grandchild they had lost, then it would be a kindness to tell them you are ok......

.....if your b.mother has brothers or sisters or other children, then you can find that out quite easily via GenesR........there are people on there who have access to all sorts of records and will tell you quite quickly how many other children a person has, when they were born, and if they are still alive........I have traced a number of old friends this way even though they have married several times........I also was able to check on how many other children my b.mother had, as there was a gap of enough months between two of them to have had another 'half' to me there........

However to try and look on the bright side re your b.mother.......as HighlandL says, people had to bury their feelings very deeply after giving up a baby, and reliving it all can be incredibly painful, none of us like to cause ourselves pain so you can see that she might not want to tell you about it, especially if she felt that you would be judging her, and possibly not liking her...............you do need to know though, and the more someone tries to prevent us knowing things the more we want to know them, and also think the worst, as you are starting to do.......... My own b.mother had buried the loss of me and my sister so deeply that when she lost a later child in an accident she had a nervous breakdown and also thought that it was a punishment from God for letting us go.....

.....so, good luck, and do keep coming back here for help/advice/others' experiences....... or just to 'sound off' ......... there will always be a sympathetic ear listening
LA
born 1944 - adopted 1946 - found b.mother 1972 - sadly missed b.father who died young but who had told his subsequent children that they had two English sisters so when I made contact with them in Canada it was not a shock to them........finally found full sister two years ago after a forty year search....
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Re: Adoption file missing...

Postby Ellie45 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:32 pm

Hi again,

I met with the people from the council today, as mentioned in my earlier post.

Hmmm, it seems that now, they are 'putting a small army' (their words) onto finding my file. Yet the phone call i received last week was going to be the end of it for them, i think, until I made a bit of fuss.
So it seems that my pushing has acheived something. Of course, the file could still remain missing, but at least I can feel that they have made a real attempt at locating it for me.

I have to say that the two people I spoke to seem genuine and are concerned that the file is missing. They were explaining to me that the old adoption files that they hold are literally just pieces of paper clipped together-they were never even put into folders. My paperwork, therefore, could easily have been picked up accidentally with someone elses paperwork and got mislaid or misfiled. Seems amazing to me that such important information was treated in such a slap-dash way.

I wonder why the old records were never transfered to microfiche. Council budgets probably had something to do with it, I expect.

Like you said, Ladyarcher, 'what chance have we unimportant adoptees' of finding our information...but then, when you want to see the records you almost have to sweat blood to get hold of them and suddenly they are treated like gold dust by the people who hold them.

Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed, time will tell...

There must be some reason for the BM to have changed her mind/attitude so quickly. Some people do bury traumatic feelings, but I'm just not convinced that every detail could have been forgotten by her. I'm surprised that she feels that saying she 'can't remember' to every question wouldn't seem strange to me. I've never mentioned that I don't believe her, by they way. I didn't feel able to tackle her about it. Wish I had, really, and just spoken my mind to her....

Well, thanks to both of you for taking the time to reply to me-very much appreciated.

xx
Ellie45
 
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Re: Adoption file missing...

Postby julie2009 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:02 pm

Hi Ellie - just read that you met with the council on Monday about your file. You see you have to make a fuss of these things to get people to react.
If you don't the matter will just be forgotten about. You said in your post your BM had told you most of her family is dead and if this is true you would have no chance of finding out anything you need to know about what happened all those years ago.

Did you believe her when she said this. You see my BF said the same when I started asking questions. He said he couldn't remember everything as it was so long ago. Some people as you say, bury these things deep in their mind and try to forget about them but I think you would always remember something about the whole thing even the least wee thing that may not seem important to them but it is to us.

Hopefully you will hear back from the council soon with news that they are managed to locate your missing file.

Let me know how it goes.

Take care

Julie xx
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Re: Adoption file missing...

Postby julie2009 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:34 pm

Hi Ellie - just came across your last post and was just wondering had you heard anything about your missing file yet.

Hope you are keeping well.

Take care

Julie xx
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Re: Adoption file missing...

Postby ladyarcher » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:52 am

As you will see, Hercinetom, Ellie45 was posting over a year ago, and I don't think she has come back to tell us if she got any results in the end.......
LA
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Re: Adoption file missing...

Postby Ellie45 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:11 am

Hi,

I've just seen that I've had a post regarding my adoption file going missing.

Haven't updated as it's all fairly depressing and makes me wish i could just go to bed and never get up quite honestly.

The file has never turned up and I was told by Sheffield Adoption Services (not long after my last post) that they had been told to stop the search by Judge Jones (Sheffield County Court), that they must put a stop to the searching for the file and not permit any further requests for help as he felt that Adoption Services had done what was required of them and he felt that i could no longer expect to continue to receive their time and efforts of assistance. The lost file is apparently-in their words- 'one of those things'.

Thanks to all who replied originally.
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Re: Adoption file missing...

Postby ladyarcher » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:18 pm

Hi again Ellie45 - sorry to see that you have had a totally unsatisfactory result to your search ......... at least you do have contact with your b.mother, and perhaps one day she will feel it is time to let you have a bit more information

however it does seem a bit odd that a Judge would instruct the Adoption Serv. to make no further attempts to find your file ....... it does not seem to be the sort of thing that a Judge would be called on to make a comment about........ you would think that the Adoption Services could simply continue to say the file was lost despite further efforts by them and that they were very very sorry, etc........, and that would probably be enough to stop most people pressing them again....... it may be that there are good reasons for you not seeing the file, and the Judge considers it would be painful for you....... people do make decisions on our behalf, sometimes out of kindness.........

You say that your b.mother told you all her family were dead........ you know her name, and could perfectly easily get a copy of her birth cert. which would tell you who her parents were....then you send for a copy of each of your grandparents death certs.............you can also send for a copy of her marriage licence to see if she married at any time.......... often the witnesses to a marriage will be family members....... or very good friends........ so you could follow that up by sending for more certs........if you are a member of Genes Reunited you can ask on there if someone will do 'look ups' for you........ there are very kind people on that site who subscribe to all of the different information sites and will happily tell you who is alive or dead, who has married who, and how many children they have had, and when......... so you could easily find out about your grandparents and dates they died or if they are still alive,.......if the '45' with your name applies to the year you were born your grandparents would certainly have gone, but if it applies to your own age, then they could still be alive......... you could also find out if your b.mother had brothers or sisters, who would be your aunts or uncles, and if she had other children......

....I am not a member now, or I would ask for you....... I was only ever a sort of 'first level' member which meant I could read posts and reply to them, and ask other members to look things up for me........but I did not subscribe for the 'full works' of being able to look things up myself........ I keep thinking that one day I will subscribe again, and do family trees on my husband's side for our children, but life is busy, so I haven't done it yet...... I have my b.tree for a long way back as one of my b.relatives had already done it all........

However, all such information about births, marriages, and deaths, in the UK is a matter of public record and is available for anyone to see or to send for you don't have to be a relative........if you live near London you could go to the Records Office at Kew and look for these things for yourself........whichever way you do it, it will cost a bit for the certificates........ but you would at least have other information, names and addresses, and will know if your b.mother is telling the truth about them all being dead, or fibbing because she does not want contact with her family.........it could be that they cast her off when she became pregnant and she was so hurt she never wanted to see them again........if any are alive, then you at least have a choice as to whether you contact them or not.............

It's better to be proactive and feel that at least you are in charge of something than feeling like going to bed and not getting up again......that is one of the main problems with adoption, the feeling that one is totally helpless and not in charge of one's own destiny, and resentment that other people are allowed to know things about us that we are not allowed to know.............. however, always remember that sometimes ignorance is bliss....... just because you are able to find out things, does not mean you will like what you find...... often our imagination is far worse than the truth.............but just sometimes the truth is actually really bad............if you are prepared to cope with whatever you find then go ahead.............

LA

LA
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Re: Adoption file missing...

Postby Ellie45 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:50 pm

Thanks for your kind and thorough reply LA.

My birth mother will not respond to letters/cards or speak to me over the phone, which has caused me some distress and puzzlement, so I have decided for my husband and daughters sake, to forget about her and just get on with 'us'.

I have felt much better since managing to come to this decision and have pretty much managed to wipe her from my mind most days. Any thoughts I have about her are not very good ones anyway, so it's for the best that i let this chapter go.

I did think it was strange that this judge has got involved and i spoke to our solicitor about it. They know of this Judge and suggested that there is probably good reason for him to get involved to this degree and said that i would have a real battle to get any further.

A battle is not what i want. The BM situation has taken the wind out of my sails generally and so, as i say, am letting this chapter go. I did consider finding my birth father, but saw sense and decided against it.

If I'm honest, i only really wanted medical history for myself and my daughter and any relationship with the BM would have been a bonus rather than the main goal. I'm never going to get that information for us,now, so it's back to constantly repeating my self to doctors, that i have no family medical history because 'I'm adopted'. You get sick of hearing yourself say it, don't you?! Always seems to sound so 'whiney'!

By the way, the 45 in my username was our house number. I was born in 1969. We've since moved to try and get a fresh start. It's surprised me how destructive this whole process has been. Uprooting my family just because I'm a little unhappy...what an understanding and patient husband i have!

Living and learning all the time,

Thanks again.
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Re: Adoption file missing...

Postby ladyarcher » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:20 pm

It used to be possible to have b.parents medical records sent confidentially to one's Dr. There was a link between one's original medical number and one's 'new' medical number.........the adoptee was not allowed to see the records, but a Dr. could check that there was not a chance of any genetic problems either then, or possibly in the future......... it would have been a much better idea if this had been part of the adoption process, so that any danger to adoptee's children would be known about....... but of course the 'powers that be' couldn't manage to do anything as sensible as this...... if you are very worried then it is worth telling your Dr. and asking for this to be explored, to set your mind at rest...........but many Drs. will not know that this is an option so you might have to push a bit.......as far as leaving everything else is concerned, it may be that you have come to the right way forward for you....

.... I know that for myself I am terminally curious and could never let it rest........however, maybe your way is best, being thankful for what you have is the more peaceful way to live.......after all, we are what we are, knowing that before our birth a b.parent did something, silly, or was caught up in something they could not cope with, is not going to make a difference to what we are now.........the sun will shine and the rain will fall, and we have the interests and talents and likes that we have grown up to have, we have the love of our husband and children and friends........ and we love them.........that is the best way......

LA

........
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