Letter: How I identified my 'true' parents

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The Independent Online
Sir: Professor Barbara Tizard's letter (14 January) at last explodes the media myth that adopted children spend the better part of their adult lives searching for their 'true' (ie, biological) parents.

As the current furore over the family makes clear, parenting fails or succeeds not on the basis of a genetic link but on the quality of social contact established between youngsters and their guardians.

Those of us who are adopted are tired of the contrived 'reunions' (between folk who have never met) championed so often by the tabloids and by television. Such coverage not only sustains the myth that Professor Tizard identifies but is also likely to aid the destabilisation of those families on either side of the adoption process, who find themselves under pressure from all those forces that afflict families of every type.

Through the agency that processed my own adoption (some 30 years ago), I recently received an inquiry from my biological parents. In the same week, my adoptive father was admitted to hospital suffering from the advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease. With no disrespect to those of whom I was born, I had no trouble identifying my 'true' parents. Professor Tizard's evidence suggests that I am not alone.

Yours faithfully,




14 January