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Monday, July 27, 2015

Winnipeg adoptee one step closer to meeting her birth mother

New Manitoba legislation helping adoptees reunite with blood-relatives

CBC News Posted: Jul 27, 2015
Marla Gordon says she hopes to travel to Manitoba from Saskatoon to meet her birth mother in person.
Marla Gordon says she hopes to travel to Manitoba from Saskatoon to meet her birth mother in person. (Marla Gordon)
A woman born in Winnipeg and put up for adoption as a child is one step closer to meeting her biological mom.

Last month, the Manitoba government pushed through new legislation that makes it easier for children put up for adoption to find out the identities of their birth parents.

Making adoption records publicly available has helped lead Marla Gordon from Saskatoon, where she grew up, back to Manitoba, where she was born, to search for answers about her blood-relatives.
It didn't take long before Gordon discovered the name of her birth mother and that she once lived in a home on Coventry Road in Charleswood.

And last week, with a simple call to 411, Gordon came away with a phone number that turned out to belong to her biological aunt. She told Gordon her birth mother would give her a call.

That call came Sunday night, and during the conversation, Gordon learned she also has two full siblings. She and her mom are now arranging a reunion to bring everyone together.

"I was pretty shocked. It hasn't sunk in yet," said Gordon. "I just couldn't believe it after this much time."

Gordon said her mom was 17 when she became pregnant and wasn't in a position to raise her.
"I understand why she gave me up, I have no grudge against her or anything," said Gordon. "I think it's a good thing; if you can't take care of a child, it's probably the most unselfish thing to give a baby a better life."

Over the years in Saskatoon, where Gordon still resides, she felt out of place and often wondered who her biological family was.

"I'm so different from my siblings; there was nobody like me," she said.

It was that sense of curiosity, paired with the new legislation, that motivated Gordon's search for answers.

Royden Kading with LINKS Post Legal Adoption said he sympathizes with people like Gordon. He, too, was put up for adoption as a child.

"An adoptee sort of lives a lie all their life," said Kading. "To find out what your background is means a lot to people."

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    Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

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    The Network is open to all Indigenous and Foster Care Survivors any time.

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    If you thought that ethnic cleansing was something for the history books, think again. This work tells the stories of Native American Indian adoptees "The Lost Birds" who continue to suffer the effects of successive US and Canadian government policies on adoption; policies that were in force as recently as the 1970's. Many of the contributors still bear the scars of their separation from their ancestral roots. What becomes apparent to the reader is the reality of a racial memory that lives in the DNA of adoptees and calls to them from the past.
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