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Lost and found — LDS TV host turns family searches into his life's work

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  • sheila carter
    March 5, 2010 12:35 p.m.

    troy i really need an angel to help me find my son shawn i no your an angel please help me find my son sheila carter

  • Orphan123
    March 4, 2010 10:43 p.m.

    Tory, I watch your show all the time. I am sorry to hear about your Mom and Dad's health issues. May God Bless all of you.

    I am 66 yr. old and do not know anything about my biological father. My mother passed away in 1986. My adopted Dad knew nothing either. My adopted records were sealed in California. My mother said she did not tell my Dad she was pregnant so I believe there is no name on my birth certificate. I have not had the money to hire someone to open my records. If you could help I would be grateful. Thanks so much.

  • I am both!!
    Oct. 4, 2008 5:47 p.m.

    Goodness, I am adopted, and a birth Mom. I am one of the lucky ones. I have so many in my family. I was blessed to be sealed to my family, and blessed because I found my biological family. Who are all wonderful people, we care about each other.
    I am also, one of the birth moms who went thru LDS Social Services,from a difficult/painful experience, LDS SS gave me a positive experience, one I participated in, as much as possible during that time. I have found my biological child.
    I would call us friends. I like that, because, in truth, I am the biological mother, there is a Mother that I gave this child too, who loved them so much, they are sealed as an eternal family. What greater gift.
    Why can't we all just love each other? NO matter how it all comes about? Isn't that the whole message of Jesus Christ? Love one another? I send hope out to those who are struggling, hurting, and in pain.
    NO matter how it began, it can end in Eternity..!!!

  • To: Anonymous
    Sept. 8, 2008 8:59 p.m.

    I live in Utah and recently adopted a baby from another state through LDS Family Services. We have an open relationship with her birth mother (age 21 at placement), communicating with her multiple times per week. The birth mother was not transported from her home state to Utah. She stayed at home with her support system. At no time when we found out she was in another state did our social worker bring up having her come to Utah as a possible option. Anyways, the information you give does not jive in any way with my firsthand experience with LDS Family Services.

    Adoption has been a beautiful experience in our lives. We love the birth mom and her family dearly, and she loves us too. Her decision to place this baby in our home was an act of love. It was her choice and the choice was in no way coerced.

  • linda mccune
    Sept. 7, 2008 10:49 p.m.

    I'm trying to find my daughters father. hes name is thomas surf. the last time I saw him was 40 years ago, in huntington beach, ca. I don't know any thing about him other then he was a nurses aid at huntington beach community hosipal in 1967. he's about 63 or 64 yrs of age. if thers anything you can do to help we would appercatateit.
    thank you, linda mcccune

  • To: SO BLIND
    Sept. 5, 2008 11:16 p.m.

    you are so adamant in telling girls that they should "not let anyone tell [them]" what to do, in other words. That's exactly what you are doing though. You too are trying to force them in a corner to go one way only. Let me just say this:
    EVERY SITUATION IS DIFFERENT. EVERYBODY HAS THE CHOICE. AS LONG AS THE BIRTH-MOTHER CAN HANDLE HER CHOICE, WHETHER IT BE ADOPTION OR NOT, LET HER MAKE HER CHOICE.
    Just because you feel that someone in your past tried to take away your agency, don't take it from girls now, just the same. Adoption is hard, but when you know it's right for the baby, there's no denying it later...no matter what happens.
    I'm sorry you didn't have the support you needed for your choice, that's sad. But let it go. No one is to blame except the person still holding on to it. Be happy and confident in your decisions.
    ---Nathan's Aubrey--

  • Real World
    Sept. 5, 2008 2:21 p.m.

    In Utah, only someone who had been raped would reply to Katie Dunn as her mother did. In the real world, unfortunately, there are many women who go to bed with some man and have no feelings for him, or the baby, which is a result of that night. Their lives are totally different than Katie's and I'm sure she wouldn't be comfortable with them. I'm sorry she had this experience, but trying to have a relationship with this kind of woman would not bring the desired results no matter how hard Katie tried. Some "reunions" are wonderful. Finding my sister was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I wish Katie's "reunion" had gone as well.

  • Adoptive Parent
    Sept. 4, 2008 12:24 a.m.

    Thank goodness for adoption. Without it, my wife and I would still be childless. With it, we have the most beautiful and happy son we could ever hope to have. We are not blind in this. We communicate regularly with the birthmother and birth grandmother. They chose us, we did not choose them. There were horrible adoption practices in the past. Thankfully, most of those practices no longer happen. LDS Family Services was complicit in many of these former practices, but they no longer engage in them. They support healthy open adoptions. You want to see blessed family love? Spend time with a modern adoptive family.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 4, 2008 12:12 a.m.

    Adoption is not a guarantee of a child having the parents they need. Neither is just making the decision to keep a child born outside marriage a promise of a loving home. I know people in both circumstances where the love is missing. But many times even married people have children they do not treat with love and care. As a culture we need to learn to love our children and not abuse them either spiritually, emotionally or physically. When a child is born, in or out of wedlock, we can choose to cherish that child. If adoption is the choice of the birthmother, give her the support she needs to make that choice. If the child is raised by the family of the birthmother, support that choice, too. As for finding birth parents or siblings - this can be very important. Ask anyone who's known parent or sibling has Alzheimers.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 3, 2008 10:38 p.m.

    To so blind yes it is hard to keep a child but people should not be counseled to keep them out of obligation to care for ones own. child can't get sealed to one parent and an adoptive family could raise it a lot beet than one parent as difficult as it is.

  • Adoption Watchdog
    Sept. 3, 2008 7:45 p.m.

    Bob, your generosity is indeed admirable, but I'd be curious to know what your "profession" is that qualified you to broker this transfer of a human being from one family to another. Someone who "happened to call" your dinner partner and "mention....another of those girls" who couldn't have any more children hardly qualifies as a background check on prospective parents. What do you know this family, really? And what kind of counseling did you provide for either this mother or the adoptive parents relative to the lifelong implications of adoption? These important duties are the responsibility of licensed, regulated, ethical adoption agencies. You may have experienced a warm fuzzy from the "coming together of a family," but what will you do in eighteen years or so when this "baby" seeks out his/her family of origin and (as you stated) you can't even remember their names? The "privacy" you bragged about may have seemed attractive to the mother (at the time) and the adoptive parents, but you've forgotten the most important party to the transaction - the child whose birth heritage was literally wiped out with a few strokes of the pen, and who could marry a sibling one day.

  • So Blind
    Sept. 3, 2008 7:00 p.m.

    I had had a child outside of marriage before joining the LDS church. Two months later my bishop called me into his office to tell me that I had to give my child up for adoption because by keeping him I was not truly repentant of my sin (fornication) and that no man would want to marry me because I had a child outside of marriage.

    I informed him that I would not give my son up and that my mom had kept me even though her parents tried to tell her the same thing when she was pregnant with me and that I was going to keep my child. He bullied me to put my son into foster care but after a week I was so upset and my son was sick that I did get my son back. This son is now 31 and has 2 beautiful little girls.

    Young sisters, your child is your responsibility to raise - do not let anyone tell you that by keeping your child you're being unrepentant as you are not. To refuse a child(who is a gift from God) is to refuse Heavenly Father.

  • Bob Pomeroy
    Sept. 3, 2008 6:26 p.m.

    Possibly the most rewarding experience of my professional life was helping arrange the other end of such a situation. A young girl from Utah came to Chicago to have a baby born out of wedlock. She wanted the baby to grow up in an LDS family with other children. It was touching that her aspirations were such a commentary on the the love she had for her family of origin.
    There was a barrier to elude in a policy dictated by the scarcity of babies. Social Services could be of no assistance. One of the girls I had dinner with every night just happened to call and mention that another of those girls was unhappy about being unable to have any more children. So a deal was made.
    On the court date, the Chicago Archdiocese appeared for the purpose of labelling me a baby-seller. I was happy to report that I had not and would not accept any money from anyone for my work on the matter.
    As all privacies were maintained, I don't even remember the names of the people, but I did see a young mother's love, the coming together of a family, and feel a precious hope.

  • Susan
    Sept. 3, 2008 11:37 a.m.

    I don't know about all Anonymous is saying but why doesn't she/he own up to her/his opinions with her/his name?

    I had an LDS family member become pregnant at a young age. She decided to give the baby up for adoption. She was not transported anywhere by Church "adoption brokers". Her mother moved with her to a relative's home in another state and she continued in school, finishing out the year.

    My relative was allowed to choose from three families that she wanted her baby to go to. She felt very much a part of the adoption process.

    When the baby was born family members were allowed to purchase items for the baby and give them to the baby's adopted mother and father via LDS Social Services. We spent time at the hospital holding the baby and trying to give the baby a lifetime of love in three days.

    The birth mother made a quilt for her baby that went with her baby.

    Way it difficult to let the baby go? You bet. Was it the right thing to do? You bet.

    P.S. I'm adopted too.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 3, 2008 8:23 a.m.

    I find it ironic that Troy is a bishop in a religious denomination that supports sealing of adoption records and blocking adoptee access to their own original birth certificates. LDS agencies have been staunch supporters of National Council for Adoption (NCFA), a tiny but politically powerful organization which uses its influence to block adoption reform laws throughout the country. To complicate matters, LDS and other adoption brokers transport pregnant women from their home states to Utah to avoid International Compact on Placement of Children regulations, isolate the women from their home support systems, avoid more restrictive relinquishment laws in their home states, and foil putative father rights. In fact, LDS Family Services has been embroiled in a number of birthfather lawsuits resulting from this practice. Utah adoption lawyer Phillip Lowry called his state "Adoption Warehouse USA."

    I don't know whether a mere bishop would have any influence on his denomination, but I hope one day soon Troy directs his attention to stopping the adoption warehouse insanity at its source, rather than having to help people pick up the pieces later in life.

  • Alice
    Sept. 2, 2008 7:45 p.m.

    I was adopted in 1959 by my then maternal grandparents. They loved and took care of me my entire life, I always knew I was adopted, I found out my senior year of h.s. who my real mother was, my oldest sister, my parents also raised her three older children she would not allow for them to be adopted,because she had gotten married, I "was the result of rape" so she told me. My dad said you could not rape the willing, I will never know the real truth as she would never really talk to me about while they were alive, she was afraid she would be left out of the will, she was very bitter when she was, so she would only tell me he was a public official in Idaho Falls and was married with a family. Now I have,health problems,and need to know about my paternal heritage for medical,reasons how do I do this?? Any advise would be greatly appreciated!! I,currently live in CA,on Social Security,Disability with/no other income. If not for my ward there weren't months my family,I'm,now single mom/of five; wouldn't have had a roof over our heads. Thank you for any advice,and help.

  • Joy
    Sept. 2, 2008 4:33 p.m.

    Lin, thank you that was my thought exactly. One can never judge even when things appear vile. That call to the mother obviously caused her great pain and a memory that she has tried to bury for many years. Such a reaction displays a lot of what is going in her life today. I pray for them both.

  • Lin
    Sept. 2, 2008 1:37 p.m.

    A word of caution to some who judge....Certainly I don't know anything at all about the circumstances of Katie's adoption, but I think that compassion is in order. Maybe the birth mother was brutally raped by a monster or perhaps abandoned by a gigolo who abused her affections. Whatever it was, something tragic surely happened to her, as a very young girl, to have left such lasting pain and anger. When Jesus, the one who knows everything, heals her, whether here or in eternity, she will turn in love and joy to her birth daughter for acceptance. Katie, kind and loving woman that she is, will open her arms.

  • Suzanne
    Sept. 2, 2008 1:28 p.m.

    My mom was adopted back in the late 1930's. She does know who her birth mother was (she died in the 1980's) but never met her, she believes. BUT she has siblings that she's never met. It's always been a dream of mine to find them for her and hopefully fill in some pieces she's always missed.

  • THOM JONES
    Sept. 2, 2008 12:00 p.m.

    I was adopted in 1945 and raised in a good home in Glendale, AZ...I had always wanted to find my bio-family. I had some information and finally in 1980 I found my Bio-Father. He led me to a Bio-Half Brother and Sister. With that I searched for my Mother who was never married to my Bio-Father. I found her in Las Vegas and with her help found out I had a full brother and sister. We all re-uninted in 1983 and it was very fine. I went in not expecting something better. I have encourged those who seek to find to do just that. But never look for a better life, rejection is tough. Just go and find and hope. thanks, tj

  • An adoptive mom
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:51 a.m.

    In a perfect world, there would be no adoption, as all parents who want children would be able to have them, and all babies would be born to parents who want and can take care of them. But in the world we have, adoption is a wonderful blessing. There will always be challenges to all parties involved, but if everyone would respect birth parents and view adoption as the blessing it is, without stigmatizing it, the world would be a far better place. Regarding choices for pregnant LDS single girls, it has been my observation that far more are "going against Church counsel" than are following it. The average birth mother placing her child for adoption through LDS Family Services is no longer the "Laurel who made a mistake", because the parents of those Laurels are raising their babies in as effort to "take care of our own".

  • to kenny
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:46 a.m.

    you are a bit confused. LDS guidance is when ever possible marry. if not adopt.

  • My Troy Dunn Encounter
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:46 a.m.

    I first heard of Troy Dunn through his church tape, Life Is A Football Game which was given to me as a gift. Years later, I was THRILLED to hear he was a celebrity spokesperson for nuskin, which I am deeply involved with. I heard him speak at our national convention and also in Anaheim last year. He is the most inspiring speaker I have ever heard. I cannot wait to watch his tv show!!!! Another mormon makes us proud in the media spotlight!

  • Re: Kenny
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:41 a.m.

    Actually, the advice I have always heard is that marriage, when possible, is a very viable, even preferred option. Of course, when both mom and dad are say, 15 years old, it becomes less viable. But in many cases, "having to get married", as it was put a few decades back, is the best option.
    The worst is almost always, for the young mother to remain single but kkep and try to raise the baby. Very few happy endings to that scenario.

  • Cynthia
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:38 a.m.

    For Katie's "mother" [quotes added deliberately in her case] to state that if she had known Katie would call, she would have "aborted it"....tells volumes about this woman's soul. I would NOT want to be in her shoes when she faces the Lord. She is vile. Best of luck to Katie.

  • Gal50
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:34 a.m.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing this show. Reunions are usually heartwarming.

    Now days, there are a lot of children conceived by donor insemination or donor eggs who wish to meet their biological donors. There is a donor sibling registry which matches up donor children with their half-siblings and donors, but not everyone registers.

  • kenny
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:06 a.m.

    Just giving up your child is not the only solution even for a LDS single girl.My daughter is a good example of one who kept her boy,married his father who loves them both and doing everything she can to make the three a happy family.Its not easy for them but they have alot of support from both families.Its not always good to go against church council but in this case I'm glad they did. I think everyone who was involved is pleased.

  • TemplarReborn
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:01 a.m.

    I searched for 37 years and found my daughter and son in law and 3 grandchildren. We currently have a great relationship though they live 1500 miles from me, which is difficult. Now to find my mother who lost me to the State of Illinois.

  • Grama Jane
    Sept. 2, 2008 8:34 a.m.

    I read of a person who had been put up for adoption, who went searching for their mother, and found in the newspaper where he heard she lived, a classified add, directed to him and that she wanted to meet him. He did meet her and told her how ironic it was that he happened to get that VERY paper. She told him she had run that add for YEARS! -- I agree that a mediator step would be best and save a LOT of fear or pain. Just for medical reasons, it would help to know. I also agree that birth parents are to be appreciated that they let their child LIVE, though maybe they loved them SO MUCH that they wanted a better life for them than they could provide. Hopefully a family with a mother AND father- who would work to protect and support the family. -- My son-in-law was adopted and I'm so thankful for him in my daughters life- he is a GREAT Dad!! So far he has not been interested in finding his bio family, and that is his choice- but I just pray we don't need them for medical reasons!

  • Alex & Suzanne Vajda
    Sept. 2, 2008 7:21 a.m.

    In the year 2000 Alex worked at radio station KIQN in Salt Lake City, UT., and Troy did a show from his home in Flordia via the phone.A few times the show was done from our studios in Salt Lake. It was a real pleasure producing those shows. I think the funniest thing that happened was on one show we set Troy up telling him that we had a special guest lined up, but he'd have to wait untill the last 10 minutes of that show to find out who it was. His wife had set this thing up with me before the show. Well, when the time came, that was one of the few times that Troy was completely stopped cold in his tracks. It was his son. While Troy was on the phone from his office in Florida, his son was on the upstairs phone. We haven't been in contact with Troy for several years, and would like to re-astablish contact with him. Thanx for this oppertunity. Suzanne just found her birth brothers, but has two sisters to locate yet. Sincerely, Suzanne and Alex Vajda

  • NY
    Sept. 2, 2008 5:45 a.m.

    We knew the Dunn's in Fort Myers. Good job Troy!

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 1, 2008 7:00 p.m.

    Is this the same Troy Dunn who does the "Life is a Football Game" talk? That's a good, funny talk except for the parts where he screams in a high-pitched voice. Good concepts, though.

  • An adoptee
    Sept. 1, 2008 3:34 p.m.

    I was located by my birth mother, which has been kind of a weird thing. I never thought badly of her at all. But I also never had any intention of ever finding her. My real family to me is my adopted family. Nor would I have wanted to have caused a disruption in her life. I can sympathize with people who want to find their birth families but there has to be a barrier set up so when people are found they can choose whether or not to accept contact.

  • great story
    Sept. 1, 2008 1:11 p.m.

    love to hear about people having great ideas, putting their heart into it, and making it a business.
    On meeting your birth parents, I think we can honor them by appreciating the live they gave us and living it to the fullest. Those who adopt should never speak ill of their child's biological parents, always with respect and love. That is the only way love can continue to flow.

  • To: Thank You
    Sept. 1, 2008 12:49 p.m.

    I don't think that birth parents give up their babies because they don't love them enough to stick around. I think they love them so much and realize that they are not in a position at that time to give the baby the kind of home each baby deserves to have. Please think of that and then maybe you won't be so hurt. Your birth mother did love you and she wanted you to have what she was not able to give.

  • Thank you
    Sept. 1, 2008 10:25 a.m.

    I am both an adoptee and birthparent and it hurts to think that someone didn't love me enough to stick around but it hurts more when your child you gave up and didn't fight for feels that you never wanted or loved them. The lies that are woven around adoption have got to stop so has adoption. I heard about the lies that were spread about me and they are still being spread about me(I located my kids)by people who never knew me as a person. I was accused of being a drug adict and I never have been. As an adoptee I am trying to relocate my birthfather. I met him in 1976 and because of something he said I stopped the contact with him - I want to start again. I know that he has two sisters and that in the late 70s was living in New Mexico.