Facebook Logo Twitter Logo
Adele’s story

Adele was born in London in 1967. Her birth mother Stella was from a white middle class family, she was training to be an accountant. Adele’s birth father Joe, was an African American solicitor who had met Stella whilst based in the UK on business.

Adele contacted Birthlink in 2017, she was aware that Birthlink (formerly known as Family Care) had been the agency responsible for arranging her adoption. Adele wanted to access her adoption records in order to find out about her birth parents and their circumstances at the time of her birth. The adoption records stated that her adoptive family had responded to an agency advert placed in a National newspaper for “homes for coloured children”. Such practice was commonplace at this time…..Adele was placed with a loving family who claimed her as their own. Adele’s legal adoption was delayed in the courts until she was 2 years old. The records told the story. Stella loved Joe. She wanted them to marry and raise their child together. However, Joe had returned to the USA. Stella refused to consent to Adele’s adoption until she had a chance to meet with Joe. She wanted to keep her daughter but could not consider life as a single mother. With hope in her heart, Stella travelled to the USA to meet face to face with Joe to try to map out a future together. Stella returned home to the UK, traumatized and devastated as she had discovered Joe was already married with a 5 year old daughter. At this point Stella signed consent for Adele’s adoption.

Over the years, Stella kept in touch with the social worker at Family Care. She shared updates about her own life and left loving letters and birthday cards on file for Adele, should she ever come looking for her in the future.

Adele was very moved by her birth mother’s actions and expressed a deep admiration for her determination and strength. With this in her mind, Adele wanted to find Stella to let her know that she had been raised in a good, loving family and had a happy childhood. She had been raised with self-belief and determination to achieve whatever goals she set for herself. She was a GP, with 3 wonderful sons and a loving husband.

Adele firstly registered on the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland. There was no link. We then undertook a search of public records and were able to research what had happened in Stella’s life in the years following Adele’s adoption. We discovered that she had married and had another daughter in the late 1970’s.

Adele made the decision that she wanted to reach out and initiate some form of contact with Stella. She had no expectations of a happy ever after reunion often screened on TV but did wish to make some form of contact with her birth mother. We wrote out to the address we had and waited….Within a week, Stella responded by letter, clearly stating “ I did not want any contact years ago and don’t now, or at any time in the future….” Adele was really shocked to receive such a curt response, no warmth or curiosity, a response that did not mirror the case records that emphasized  the strength and determination of the young woman fighting to find a away to keep her baby all those years ago.

Adele took some time to process and reflect on her thoughts and feelings. She initially felt very hurt by Stella’s response but concluded that she was left with a sense of sadness not only for herself but for Stella too. What had happened in her life during those intervening years to illicit such a response? Adele will never know…..