There are two basic types of adoption: a closed adoption and an open adoption. In an open adoption, there will be some type of contact and communication between birth mother and adoptive family and/or adopted child. This can range from postal mailings of pictures to actual visits. When an adoption is a closed adoption, there is no communication and the birth mother will not know to which family her child went to. Her child may be in the same state or her child may be across the country. For the children that are adopted in this way, there will most likely come a time when they decide they wish to conduct a search and reunion; to find their birth mother and have all of their questions answered.
An adopted person may want a search and reunion for various reasons. Some are to have questions answered such as: Do I have any brothers and sisters, why was I placed for adoption, what is my medical history, what is my nationality, do I look like my birth mother and/or if I perform a search and reunion will my adoptive parents perceive this as being disloyal in some way.
All of these questions and the emotions that go along side them are perfectly normal; and are, in fact, expected. When a person wishes to do a search and reunion, they should keep in mind that the answers may not always match their desired ones. It would be a wonderful world if people always heard answers that pleased them; however we all know that life is not quite so easy. In a search and reunion, a person may find that they do not look like their mother, they may not be satisfied with the reasons that they were placed for adoption and they may not even feel a good connections with any brothers and/or sisters. If you are ready to do a search and reunion, hope for the best, prepare for the worst and be ready to accept any information. Those that feel they will be happy just to have questions answered, even if those answers are not optimal, are the ones that will be most content with their decision to perform a search and reunion.
In regard to believing your adoptive parents may feel you are disloyal: most adoptive parents have prepared themselves for the day that their adopted child will have strong feelings to do a search and reunion. They have thought about it, dreamed about it and are ready to deal with it. It is always best to reassure adopted parents of your love; they know of it, but want and need to hear of it, regardless. When communications are open and honest, a search and reunion can lead to a very positive outcome.
Talking to and/or meeting your birth mother can be an overwhelming experience. A person should not expect anything; this is a situation that must be taken as it comes. It may help to exchange letters and then telephone calls first, to have some questions answered first and become familiar with each other. The main element to keep in mind is that no matter what the outcome of a search and reunion, you always will have the undying love of your adopted parents.