True #adoption story… George Orwell & Son #truestory

The true story of journalist Eric Blair, whose pen name was George Orwell, and his adopted son Richard, could seem fictional. It is certainly sad.

Eric Blair & his adopted son Richard

Eric Blair died in January 1950 at the age of 46. Richard was six years old. Blair and his wife Eileen adopted Richard Horatio at the age of three weeks. It is said that Blair burned the birth parents’ names from the birth certificate. After Eileen’s death, Richard was cared for by a nanny and later by Blair’s younger sister Avril. On Blair’s death, Avril became Richard’s legal guardian.

George Orwell

The effect of the burned certificate on Richard’s attempts to learn more about his birth parents is unknown.

If you like this true story, try:-
Helen Harrison
Bob Macnish
Alice Collins Plebuch

George Orwell

 

Animal Farm by George Orwell BUY

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#FamilyHistory #Mystery ‘The Blood Detective’ by Dan Waddell @danwaddell

I raced through The Blood Detective by Dan Waddell, a hybrid mixture of crime and genealogy mystery. Waddell is also a journalist and genealogist, having written Who Do You Think You Are?: The Genealogy Handbook accompanying the Who Do You Think You Are? television series. So, he knows his stuff and it shows. Usually a crime novel features a lead detective and team, here we have two lead characters: Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster, and genealogist Nigel Barnes.

Dan Waddell

Waddell’s plotting is ingenious. The past really does come back to haunt the present. There is a serial killer in West London who leaves a clue carved into the skin of his victims. This clue prompts DCI Foster to call on the specialist help of researcher Barnes. The murder hunt takes parallel paths: Foster chases living suspects, Barnes searches the archives for the true 1879 story of a serial killer, his victims and their descendants. What is the link? The final chapters are a thrilling race against time.

I really enjoyed this. The linking of historical and present-day crime was clever, and the characterization was convincing and not of the stereotypical detective form. An enjoyable mixture of fast-moving crime novel with genealogical research and historical gems about this particular part of London, its transformation from Victorian times to the 21stcentury, and its dark history of crime. There is a second novel featuring the same characters, Blood Atonement.
BUY

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Further information #Adoption #AdoptionReunion #HelpfulLinks

If you want to take the first tentative step to finding answers about your own adoption story, here are some simple places to start. This list of books includes advice on how to search, autobiographies of people involved in the adoption story, adoptees and birth parents, and true stories of adoption searches. The websites include adoption advice and useful archives. This is a place to start. Your journey will take you into the unknown, only you can take that first step. Good luck.

[photo: salvationarmy.co.uk]

BOOKS

Adoption, Search & Reunion by David Howe & Julia Feast
A Good Likeness by Paul Arnott
Blue-Eyed Son by Nicky Campbell
Relative Strangers: A history of adoption and a tale of triplets by Hunter Davies

The People Finder by Karen Bali
The Adoption Triangle by Julia Tugendhat
The Adoption Reunion Handbook by Liz Trinder and Julia Feast
The Adoption Papers by Jackie Kay
I Belong to No One by Gwen Wilson

[photo @SandraDanby]

WEBSITES

GOV.UK How to access birth records in the UK, what to do if you know your birth details, and what to do if you don’t know the circumstances of your birth. Includes a link to the Adoption Contact Register which enables you to find a birth relative or adopted person, or to say you don’t want to be contacted.
GENERAL REGISTER OFFICE To order UK birth certificates online, go to the General Register Office.
ARIEL BRUCE is a Registered Independent Social Worker who specialises in tracing people affected by adoption. She also helps to trace people who have lost touch as a result of emigration, divorce or other family separations. Ariel Bruce conducts searches in Britain and all over the world and has successfully traced missing family members for over 20 years.
BAAF [The British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering] supplies advice and information on adoption and care issues. Their publication “Where to find Adoption Records” is very useful.
ELECTORAL REGISTER If trying to trace someone for whom you have a name, the Electoral Registers are a useful source of name and address. Check with your local county council.
AFTER ADOPTION is an independent adoption support organisation. Its website has useful links and adoption information. ActionLine is a free telephone helpline on 0800 0 568 578. It is confidential and available for anyone whose life has been affected by adoption – adopted people, birth relatives and adoptive families.
ADOPTION UK UK charity for people affected by adoption, 10,000 members. Providing support, awareness and understanding. Promotes the value of adoption, not so much about adoption reunion.
THE SALVATION ARMY Helps to reunite families through its Family Tracing Service. Telephone 0845 634 4747 or go online and complete an online request for a Family Tracing Service Application Form.

Finding People [photo: salvationarmy.co.uk]

ADOPTION SEARCH REUNION This website, run by BAAF, is a useful starting place in the search for birth or adopted relatives.
FORMER CHILDREN’S HOMES This website is a valuable resource for information about UK children’s cottage homes, former orphanages and other institutions for children plus details of US orphanages and child migration. Information from children’s home registers is going online now.
PEOPLETRACER Checks +300 million online records for named people. Resources include UK Electoral Registers for 2002-2014, births deaths and marriages, and online Telephone Directory.
ADOPTION SERVICES FOR ADULTS Registered social worker Jean Milsted specialises in helping adults affected by adoption. As well as searching, tracing and intermediary services, ASA also offers workshops for adults affected by adoption [adopted people, birth relatives and adoptive family members]. Understanding different perspectives in adoption search and reunion, wanting to know or not, preparing for reunion.

This information is for guidance only and is mostly UK-based. All websites featured include further useful links, so please explore. Sandra Danby does not offer adoption advice or genealogical services.

Read more about family history research here:-
Genetic map ‘People of the British Isles’
Searching British newspaper archives
Searching the #DeceasedOnline database of #graveyards 

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Searching British newspaper archives #familyhistory #adoptionreunion

The days are gone when researching old newspaper articles meant a trip to a library. Nowadays there is a fantastic online resource for anyone trying to trace lost relatives or researching their family tree. The British Newspaper Archive has almost 11.5 million newspaper pages on its archives from the 1700s onwards, across 473 UK newspaper titles.

As part of the research for Ignoring Gravity, I read countless newspaper and magazine articles about adoption, the stories of birth mothers, adoptees and adoptive parents. I tested the BNA database. A random search for ‘Sandra Danby‘ produced three results, none of which were about me. Here are two:-

From the ‘Hull Daily Mail’

May 6, 1950 Hull Daily Mail [above]: Sandra Danby was a principal performer at a concert in Hessle Town Hall, along with Elsie Meek, Sylvia Cowling and Michael Goforth. I’ve made a note of the name Elsie Meek, inspiration for a character name perhaps?

From the ‘Hull Daily Mail’

June 19, 1950 Hull Daily Mail [above]: Sandra Danby from Hessle came second in the Haltemprice Fancy Dress Prize Winners ‘Most Attractive’ section, she was dressed as a Dutch girl. First prize was won by Patricia Partington, who dressed as Bo Peep.

Next, I searched for ‘Rose Haldane’, the name of my identity detective, and had more success with 13 entries, so perhaps not such an uncommon name. Ten of the 13 articles were from Scottish newspapers, here is one:-

From the ‘Southern Reporter’

April 2, 1908 Southern Reporter, Selkirkshire [above]: Rose Haldane of The Grange, presented prizes to the winners of the bulb-growing competition.

Read this post from the BNA’s blog with advice on how to search the archive for a person’s name.

This post was inspired by the article ’50 family history websites to watch in 2015’ in the January 2015 issue of the UK’s Who Do You Think You Are? magazine.

 

Watch the book trailer for the ‘Identity Detective’ series, including Ignoring Gravity and Connectedness.
 BUY

Read more about family history research here:-
Searching the #DeceasedOnline database of #graveyards
Where to start your #familyhistory search
Genetic map ‘People of the British Isles’ 

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Searching British newspaper archives #familyhistory #adoptionreunion https://wp.me/paZ3MX-2w via #AdoptionStoriesBlog

True #adoption story… Bob MacNish #truestory #adoptionreunion

Bob MacNish was 22 when his father died. On his deathbed, his father told him he was adopted. MacNish spent the next 50 years searching for the truth but getting nowhere. His original birth certificate was legally sealed.

[photo: Mitsu Yasukaway/northjersey.com]

Then in 2018, MacNish was one of the first adult adoptees to be given his original birth certificate in the state of New Jersey. State laws continue to change in the USA regarding the information available to adult adoptees. According to the American Adoption Congress, nine states now allowed unrestricted access and a further 11 allow access with restrictions [including New Jersey]. Records remain sealed in 22 states.

Bob MacNish finally met his birth mother for the first time, when he was 73. “For me, there was always that hunger for that answer. I need to know the truth about where I come from,” he told NJTV News. He knew he was born in Weehawken and given up for adoption when he was three days old. All he knew was that his birth mother was probably Italian. His adoption was private, arranged by an attorney. MacNish grew up feeling ‘a little different’ from his adopted family of Scottish farmers in central New Jersey.

Bob MacNish with birth mother Jean and half-sister Sheila [photo: Mitsu Yasukaway/northjersey.com]

If you like this true story, try:-
Eileen Heron
Jenna Cook
Emmeline Pankhurst 

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Approaching adopted teens #adoptionreunion #adoptees

UK charity Adoption UK has appealed to birth families not to contact their birth children, given up for adoption, and now teenagers, via social media without advance preparation. A quarter of the 3,500 adoptive parents questioned in a recent survey by the charity said their adopted teenager had had some form of contact with a birth parent in the past year that was outside a formal agreement. The most common form of contact was social media. adopted teenagers

Established adoption charities said the established adoption practices for contact were no longer working and that a new system for authorised contact between adopted children and their original family was needed. Many adoptive families questioned in the survey said contact with their original family was positive for the child, but 61% said the experience was destabilising and 46% said they were unprepared for the unprompted contact.

Report author and Adoption UK policy advisor Rebecca Brooks said, “Traditional methods of maintaining contact with birth families and adopted families, which is usually a letter exchange once or twice a year, does not prepare families all that well for the unsolicited contact that can occur in teenage years because social media makes it so easy.” Some adopted teenagers are using social media to contact their birth families. adopted children

The Adoption Contact Register for England and Wales is where birth parents may leave their contact details, which may be given to the adopted child on application. In Scotland, contact Birthlink; in Northern Ireland, the NI Direct.

For advice about the searching process and finding emotional, read this advice from the Coram/BAAF Adoption and Fostering Academy

Adoption UK is one of two charities – the other is Home for Good – involved with the new All-Party Parliamentary Group for Adoption and Permanenceformed in February 2019 to give a stronger voice to families involved with adoption, and to develop effective policy and practice.APPG chair Rachael Maskell, MP, said, “This new APPG is a very important opportunity to advocate for some of the most vulnerable children in society and i am delighted to be leading it. adopted children have had a very tough start in life and they deserve the attention of policy makers to ensure they are able to build a better future.”

For more articles about researching family records, try:-
Where to start your #familyhistory search
Genetic map ‘People of the British Isles’
Searching the #DeceasedOnline database of #graveyards

Sandra Danby

★★★★★ “I devoured the book in one go, unable to put it down despite the tirade of emotions it brought to the surface”

Start the ‘Identity Detective’ series of #adoptionreunion mysteries with Ignoring Gravity. When you don’t know who you are any more, it’s time to ask questions. Will Rose Haldane like the answers she hears or wish she’d never asked?

#secrets #mystery #family #KU BUY

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#ShortStory ‘Citrine’ by Sandra Danby @SandraDanby #identity #birthfather

It was a sturdy bicycle, black, with a wicker basket. Gita hadn’t wobbled on it so badly since she was ten years old, when her mother died and bequeathed it to her.”

Birth father

‘Lady on Bike’ by Mimi Mollica

Inspired by this photograph by Mimi Mollica, my short story ‘Citrine’ is published by ‘A Thousand Word Photos’ which pairs writers and photographs to create distinctive and individual stories, each exactly 1000 words long. The story is then read to stroke patients in London hospitals by actors, working with the charity InteractStroke.

I was given the choice of three photos, I had to choose one. But as soon as I saw Mimi’s photograph, Gita’s story flew into my head. She has such a tired, pensive, anxious look on her face that I knew her cycle journey is about more than going home after a long day at work. She is going towards an answer she has only just realised she’s been waiting all her life to ask. Who is her father?

Read the story in full at A Thousand Word Photos; and here’s more about photographer Mimi Mollica.

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