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This is one reason why I will not help

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


SylviaInCanada Report 2 Sep 2013 22:42

look for living relatives, especially birth mothers and fathers.

This was posted on GR's FB wall ................... and I think it behoves ALL of us to be very careful in the information we give out.

Hi, last night I had a message from a lady who thought my mother was her birth mother. She thought this because a birthmother/adopted baby website had given her my details and mum's details as a possible lead - people had even told her that I looked like her.
Sadly for her, it was not my mum who abandoned her. I know this because my mum was no longer able to have children by the time she was born.
I told my mum, fortunately she is fit and well, and we have a good relationship. What would have been the outcome if she was very ill or we weren't close, or even if she had died and wasn't around to ask?
If it was your group who gave her the information, I strongly suggest that this is very risky and could have caused big problems in our family when there was only a link of a surname to go on.
I do understand that people are sometimes desperate to find their roots, but you also have to consider the possible devastating consequences when the leads are false.

There is no indication that the information came from GR or GR helpers .................. but it is a warning of what may result from mis-information or mis-understanding of information found.


patchem Report 2 Sep 2013 23:19

I do not think that anyone on here would have told her that she looked like the poster.


Porkie_Pie Report 2 Sep 2013 23:38

To be honest that the reason I don't tend to help on the FLR board

Looks to me like the research was done through FB via PM's

I do no of at least one GR member who also help to find living relatives using the GR PM system,



Kay???? Report 3 Sep 2013 00:13

well GR dont run a birthmother/adopted baby site,,,,,,,,I know some women runs FB pages for BM and Adoptee somewhere ,,,,,,,am not a FB user so dont know ins and outs of it..


DazedConfused Report 3 Sep 2013 08:24

The show 'Lost Families' has a lot to answer for. They show in the main fairly happy endings. And sadly that is not always the case.

But what about those women who are terrified that one day there will be that knock on the door. Just because a child wants to find its birth mother does not mean they have the right to disrupt and possibly destroy someones life. One wonders how many women there are who have never told their husbands about a child they had previously and then as the years go by the realisation that if this was to come out, their lives would never be the same.

This type of situation should in my opinion be done via a certified company and the use of a 'middle man'. That way both parties can be protected.

And whilst I doubt that any mother who has had to give up a child for adoption in the past does not think about that child all the time. The worry is always there.


Reggie Report 3 Sep 2013 08:37

Long Lost Family ONLY shows happy many cases do they take on where the results are entirely the opposite?

We don't hear about them........................

There are people on GR who rush to give current address and phone info without ever questioning the reason for the request.............utterly irresponsible, in my opinion


DazedConfused Report 3 Sep 2013 08:50

One does wonder if those people who post looking for lost mother/father even think about the consequences of their search and possible results.

I can understand the need to know, but at what cost?

Personally I think the 'Find Living Relatives' should be removed.


Penny Report 3 Sep 2013 09:42

Some of us do try and help.......responsibly.
Very often we get shouted down.

Its hard...its something you have understand.

Check your facts, heck again and Again.

Cross every T, dot every I

and Never, NEVER condone phoning or messaging.

a carefully worded paper letter to birth parent ONLY- NO ONE ELSE.


Cynthia Report 3 Sep 2013 13:58

Whilst I am very happy to notify and help new members find their way back to their threads re ancestors, I am NOT happy to notify new members on FLA.

It bothers me that I may be setting something into action which may have unfortunate consequences for a family.

I agree that the Long Lost Family programme has a lot to answer for and that, behind the scenes, there may be many broken hearted people. I do not wish to be part of that.


Eileen Report 3 Sep 2013 14:44

I have often said that Long lost Families make you believe that it ends all lovey, but it doesn't. I know that for fact, but I do understand how people may wonder where they are from and what illness's there are in the family. It can be embarrassing when gp's ask if illness runs in the family, and you have to reply that you don't know. If we weren't interested in our past, then there would be no need for sites such as this one. We all long to know where we derive from, don't we?

Mary J

Mary J Report 4 Sep 2013 07:19

"a carefully worded paper letter to birth parent ONLY- NO ONE ELSE"

Whilst I agree with the above statement. I do know someone who's husband insist on opening ALL the mail even that of his adult children who still live at home, his argument being "it's my house I have a right to see what is delivered here" this includes everything from birthday cards to anything marked private & confidential.

Mary J


Reggie Report 4 Sep 2013 08:40

That is by no means an isolated case, Mary................

NO direct contact should EVER be considered.........................


Kay???? Report 4 Sep 2013 10:11

How do you think a paper worded letter from an agency or authority is worded,,,,? discretely !. how little is known.


Nyx Report 4 Sep 2013 12:46

Apparently 1 in 7 of the cases they LLF take on don't come to the screen, for various reasons.

If helping on a search it does mean you take on a huge responsibilty. If I do help as I have on one or two searches (off board) then I check, double check, eliminate possibles, and only if I'm 99.9% sure will I give any of that info to the person looking with the advice to write a very discreet letter.

I acted as something of an intermediary for one... the strain of getting it 'right' is enormous if you are the point of contact, 'piggy in the middle' , making sure what you say and how you say it, not too much, not too little, leaves the decisions with both parties, and leaving enough room for either to beat an easy retreat or to say 'yes I know about X and I've been looking also".

Generally speaking if it is someone young seeking, I wouldn't go further than telling them where to look for themselves perhaps. If it someone older then it may well be 'the last chance' and ( again generally) you can judge maturity, the ones who aren't going to demand anything or expect it, they just want to 'know',

I'm not comfortable with some of the info that is handed out willy nilly, phone numbers ( never do that!) addresses which haven't been checked and checked again and just happen to be the same surname.

There is another person of my name ( relatively unusual) born in the same area, same reg qtr...supposing one of us was contacted in mistake for the other...could cause all kinds of upset if someone had not bothered to check all the other details too.

I think you do have to be able to see both sides, and sometimes people help who see it only from the one side.


Eileen Report 4 Sep 2013 16:06

If a man is so nosey that he opens other peoples private mail, then if he see something he doesn't like, then serves him right. I would never have letters sent to my house because my father did open the letters, and sometimes, he didn't like what he saw.


Reggie Report 4 Sep 2013 16:18

You've completely missed the point, Eileen

It isn't the man's feelings which are at issue......................


Eileen Report 5 Sep 2013 11:12

I know that Reggie, I was just saying in a roundabout way that some men shouldn't pry. They think it is their right. I had a father like this, and if he hadn't have been, my life might have been very different.
I also adopted two children, one tried contacting her mother, but was rejected, so I can see both sides of this item.
Please don't judge until you know.
I'm sorry if my opinion hurt anyone in particular, that was not my intention at all, but I can't help getting on my high horse when I hear how cruel some men can be.