Friday, September 22, 2006



Two different reunion stories were carried by the two major Chicago newspapers during September, only 6 days apart. The first appeared on September 11th in the Chicago Sun Times and the second was in the Chicago Tribune on September 17th.

Both of these articles were about heartwarming and really rather extraordinary reunions between young female adoptees and their biological fathers.

The first story came from Minnesota. “Adopted Daughter learns biological dad was 9/11 hero.” Within the text of the article it said that this young woman was able to find out who her father was because she got her birth certificate from the state. Oh yeah?! The article failed to report that Minnesota does not give out any original birth certificates unless birth mothers first consent.

I wrote a letter to the editor of the Chicago Sun Times correcting the facts that were omitted in the article. My letter wasn’t printed.

The second story, from West Virginia, was entitled, "Role emerges for actress as real princess.” This article told about a young adoptee who decided to hire a private investigator to find her biological father. The investigator found her father in less than three hours and to her amazement - this adoptee learned that her father is a chieftain of a tribe in Sierra Leone, Africa.

I wrote to the Chicago Tribune but they didn’t print my letter either. Well, thank goodness for Blogs. Here’s my letter to the Trib:

Dear Editor:

I truly enjoyed the story, "Role emerges for actress as real princess" in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune (Sept. 17th) I’m an old adoptee who as a youngster regularly dreamed of being found by her real parents, who just happened to be the king and queen of some far off country. The king and queen would then carry this little orphan Annie off to their castle where we would all live happily ever after. End of fairy tale!

As an old Grannie Annie, I can only ask (for at least the billionth time): Why must adopted adults hire investigators, as described in Sarah Culberson’s story, to find out who they are? Why must adopted men and women jump through impossible hoops set up just for them by the 45 states in our country, Illinois included, in order to find out who they are?

Every week, you can count on reading another "good" reunion story, though admittedly Sarah Culberson’s ending is unique. I figure that the media wouldn’t be printing these reunion stories so often if their readers didn’t love to read about them. Everyone seems to love a regular diet of stories with a good cry and a happy ending. Sometimes it’s a puppy who finds its way home and other times it’s an adoptee. Both make great press!

Yet whenever a group emerges to change the laws to allow all adopted adults to be treated the same as all "non-adopted" citizens, these readers are no-where to be seen. They have been struck dumb. And worse! The very same newspapers that print the reunion stories either clam-up entirely or run editorials with impossible reasons why the state should not treat adopted adults on a par with all other citizens of the state.

You love to read about us, but you don’t really want to help us.


Anonymous said...

Excellent letter as always, Grannie. You sum it all up so perfectly in the last sentence. The press figures that if we can't be cute & fuzzy anymore, at least our stories can be. It's enough to make this adoptee reach for the barf bag.

PW Fester said...

The second story was from WEST Virginia. Morgantown, in fact, home to WEST Virginia University. WEST Virginia is an entirely separate state from Virginia.

Anita said...

People make innocent, not stupid, mistakes. Mine was an innocent error. Thank you for the correction.

I am well aware that there are two states, Virginia and West Virginia, and in fact have traveled in both states. My sister lives in Virginia. I am also aware of the fact that New Mexico is a state and Mexico is another country, South Dakota is not North Dakota, Washington State is not Washington, DC, and so on. I get it.

Grannie Annie

Mia said...

Fantastic response Granny! Way to go!!!