Doug Robinson: Reuniting families — One Utahn is helping adopted children, biological parents find each other
“The mother’s mother would put false information on the birth certificate so the child can’t find her,” says Woodward.
That isn’t always enough to thwart the powerful urge to find family. Woodward worked with one mother who recalled having nurses put a towel over her face so she couldn’t see her child, but she listened to everything that was said in the delivery room and later wrote it down — who was there, the names of the doctor and nurses, time of the birth. On the child’s birth certificate, the name of a nurse was listed as the mother. And yet, from the details the biological mother was able to provide from what she heard in the delivery room, she and Woodward were able to find her child.
“This job can be frustrating, but I love it all,” says Woodward. “I’m passionate about it.”
Woodward can’t help becoming emotionally involved with the people who come to her. She often comes to the office early and stays late. “Carolyn, you gotta go home,” co-workers tell her frequently.
“I just can’t turn away,” she says. “I’m the only one who does this, the only one who can go and find these people they are looking for. This is my baby.”
She opens a file that is crammed 2 inches thick with thank-you notes from the people she has helped. There are more at home.
“It makes me feel like it’s worthwhile,” she says.
Doug Robinson's columns run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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