Paper and Spit
by Don Anderson
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
For Don Anderson, finding his birth mother was the easy part. He just had to wait for legislation to be passed in Oregon, in the United States, that would allow adoptees aged 21 and older access to their birth certificates. Learning her name allowed him to ask her: “Did you ever think about looking for me?”
However, one piece of information his mother – who would die five years after their meeting, in 2001 – couldn’t give him was the name of Anderson’s father. That search took 20 years from the time he submitted his first application for information and involved a DNA Y-chromosome test, among others, revealing that, despite what he’d been led to believe, he had no native-American roots (92 per cent of his DNA was, in fact, Celtic). Thus began his near-obsessive pursuit, involving the tedious task of phone-book searches and letters sent to possible relatives.
Often he would be surprised by the kindness of strangers, who also agreed to take DNA tests. And there were disappointments, too, although his efforts eventually revealed to him that his mother had wanted to keep him and his father would have moved heaven and earth to find him.