Finding a Long Lost Relative
Finding a lost relative, or one you didn’t know of, should be one of life’s special “Kodak Moments." But that’s not always the case. Unfortunately, there are those who may pose as a “long lost relative” attempting to perpetrate a con game.
Would be scammers can obtain information in a variety of ways. Public records can be searched online and phone books can yield important contact information. Personal websites such as a family tree or newspaper obituary columns can also be a source to obtain names of family members. So it is wise to exercise caution when dealing with someone claiming to be a lost relative. For instance, if you have dark hair and someone claiming to be a long lost brother has red, you might want to investigate a little further.
In recent years, an increasing number of adopted children have taken an interest in locating their biological parents largely in part due to the internet. Humans have a natural curiosity to know who they are and where they came from. But even if a legitimate family member has been located, the question arises should you contact them? There are several pitfalls that can occur.
First, the inevitable question of why they were put up for adoption is bound to come up. This usually causes an awkward, uncomfortable situation, depending upon the answer.
But many reunions are genuine. One woman whose mother had given her up for adoption shortly after birth spent years trying to locate her biological father. She eventually found him and was welcomed with open arms. Furthermore, the father discovered he was now a grandfather to three children and was overjoyed. But the joy was short lived.
Although father and daughter were reunited and were getting along fine, problems arose with other family members. The adoptive parents were hurt feeling the daughter didn’t consider them as “real parents."
In addition, the adoptive grandparents resented the new “Johnny-Come-Lately” granddad. Competition for the grandchildren’s affections ensued. The biological granddad couldn’t compete with the expensive presents the more affluent grandparents lavished upon the children. They effectively shut him out and he no longer stays in contact.
Also in this same family a half sister no one knew existed was discovered while creating their family tree. They had the same father but different mothers. She was from a marriage the family didn’t know about. This reunion went well and they visited whenever possible. But now they have no contact whatsoever. They have nothing in common except for a deadbeat dad.
In conclusion, discovering a lost relative can be a great and valuable experience, or a disaster waiting to happen. Beware of the unexpected.