A B.C. man is hoping to retrace his roots and find his birth mother.
Mike Gerard, 66, was adopted in 1952. He said that he has been curious about his birth parents for a long time but only recently got some answers.
His journey for answers began nearly two decades ago when, in 2001, he filed for his adoption records. He said he received 35 pages of records but all identifying information redacted due to a non-disclosure veto. He said he assumes this was placed on the file by his birth mother.
From these records, he received a general view of both sides of his family including physical descriptions of family members and his family history. He was also told their countries of origin were Ireland, Scotland and England.
“There was a mention that my birth father’s background was as an orchardist,” he said.
Though the location was redacted, he said he was able to determine from the records that the town name was five letters in length.
“I determined this by counting the typed letters above and below the blanked out names on the records,” he said. “As I have spent much time travelling the Okanagan and Southern B.C., my mind immediately went to Chase, Trail and Oyama as all are fruit growing areas. I was also able to determine other details by the same method.”
After learning this, Gerard said he put the search on hold and it wasn’t until his adoptive parents died that he gained a renewed interested in finding out more information about his biological family. In 2011, he sent his DNA to a company, but this was to no avail. Again, he put his search on hold — until this January when he joined an ancestry site and he finally got some questions answered.
“I feel certain I have identified both sides. One side seems receptive, one is not. One birth parent has passed on but one is still alive,” he said.
Gerard’s living parent — his birth mother — was 18 years old when he was born, meaning she would now be 84.
“I have no wish to be confrontational of someone who may have kept me as a family secret all these years, but I have a dilemma on my hands. I found most of the information I felt I needed: who, when, where, and why, and I thought I would be satisfied with that but there is a part of me that wants more.”
He said that he has found several first cousins now and four half-siblings that he also wants to meet.
“Something my birth parent would recognize is that my given names at birth were Jeffrey Wayne and the last name had six letters. I was 8 lbs 3oz at birth and was born at 40 weeks in Vancouver General Hospital on Dec. 13, 1952. My mother was born in Saskatchewan and her family moved to B.C. when she was 3. My father was born in Scotland and came to Canada when he was 4 and lived in the same community. She was 18 and he was 27 when I was born. This was all noted on my adoption records from the B.C. government.”
Now, Gerard is hoping that his mother will recognize this information and reach out to him. His hopes are that after 66 years, they will be able to meet once again.
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