Adoption files – my birth father

With a milestone birthday coming up soon and my plans to look at my DNA profile, I decided to revisit my adoption files. I got these many years ago so there were no shocks for me but it is odd how you react differently to the information as you go through your own life and times. Today I am going to talk about my birth father who I would actually love to track down although I don’t really know where to start.

My father was called John and he was born in 1947 in Wexford in Ireland. He was 5 feet and 10 inches with brown eyes and a fair skin. His father was a farmer but John came over to London and lived in Forest Gate E7. He worked in the building trade. My adoptive mum told me he was a plasterer.  She would emphasize that this was very skilled job and I should respect him for that. It appears my father came from a large family with 4 brothers and 5 sisters. He was Roman Catholic. For many years I thought he was Protestant and that it was religious difference that had led to the difficulty in him and my mother staying together. I think this came from my adoptive mum trying to second guess why they could not be together as she had the impression from the nuns that they had loved one another. The adoption papers confirm they had known each other for 2 and a half years and already had a baby the year before who was also adopted apparently in Ireland.

It is clear that my birth parents considered marriage. My mother was quite a bit older than my natural father in her late twenties whilst he was just 20 at the time of my birth. It seems my maternal grandparents disapproved of them marrying due to my natural father’s lack of security. Inevitably, that angers me a bit.

There is reference in the adoption papers to my father’s jealous nature and occasional violence against my birth mother. I think it is hard to make a judgement on this as it is clear that by the time my mother was being interviewed, she was keen to distance herself from him and also to prevent him from saying no to the adoption.

What is lovely for me to know is that John wanted to keep me. That is so clear from both the adoption file and the actual letters written by my birth mother at the time that are included in the files. He came to see me in the hospital. This means so very much to someone who has struggled to feel good enough in life.

In the aftermath of my birth, social workers attempted to find him without success to establish his views before releasing me for adoption at all.

Whatever the calibre of the man, it breaks my heart a little that a man who at the very young age of 20 was prepared to take me on, marry my mother and get a flat for them may be somewhere wondering where I am and what happened to me. I would of course love to find him and suspect he probably went back to Ireland at some point. I have no wish to disrupt a new family or to upset him but maybe I would upset him more by not trying to find him.

It strikes me in wider terms how often we assume the father is of less importance than the mother. We think men can be unfeeling in such circumstances. I am heartened that is seems very clear that my birth father did love me even if it is quite possible that he only saw me on one occasion

Adopted adults can have support in tracking down birth relatives via the NORCAP register.
So dear reader, should I try and track him down before it is too late?





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15 thoughts on “Adoption files – my birth father”

  1. What a powerful story. Having spent the whole morning with my dad pottering around in my garden and then sitting down for a leisurely coffee and chat with him I have no way to relate to what you’re going through.

    I get the feeling that you should at least try to track him down and let him know that you’re okay.

  2. If you want to find him then I say go for it and now while you still have the time, In the days before the internet, i managed to track down my maternal grandfather who left my mother when she was 4, she never had any further contact with him, I contacted the opticians in the area he was last known to have lived in and found him that way. I assumed at the age he would’ve been then that he would have issues with his sight. I doubt however today they would give out that info. I never made contact, I just wanted to know if he was still alive, he died a month later. With the help of the internet I was able to track down colleagues of my fathers from South Africa when we lived over there, so it can be done easily. if you want my help, send the details you have in a message, I love researching family trees and have plenty of time to help you out if you’d like #triumphanttales

  3. As an adoptee myself I would say definitely attempt to track him down.

    No matter what else happens in life I always find myself going back to that question. Why did I get put into the orphanage.

    I’ll be following with interest.


  4. I would be curious about my sibling who was adopted the previous year. I hope you find your birth family and that it’s a lovely one.

  5. Lovely to learn of your birth parents Kate. I think if it was me, I would love to try and find my birth father. But, whatever you decide will be for the right reasons.

    Thanks so much for sharing with #MMBC. x

  6. How interesting, I never realised the depth the adoption files would go into. I think you should try and find him, because from your writing you seem that you really want to, as long as you go into with no expectations and no pressure, I think it could be great for you both #TwinklyTuesday

  7. I would always say, go for it as you never know what you will find and it may be too late if you leave it much longer. What’s the worst that can happen? He doesn’t want to or can’t see you. Prepare for the worst to be open for the best. Good luck. #bloggersbest

  8. What a tantalizing amount of information! It must be so encouraging to know that he cared (cares) for you and I can really understand why you want to track him down. It’s such a big decision #blogcrush

  9. I think so long as you are prepared (or as well as you can be) for either eventuality, you should try to track him down. I think you’ll always think about it otherwise, wondering what may have been. Wishing you lots of luck x #TwinklyTuesday

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