A Black Market Adoption Reversed
Search, Reunion, Annulment
Mike grew up in an abusive and oppressive home environment. At the age of 12, he discovered that he was an adoptee. By 17 years old, he completed high school early, left his adoptive home and proceeded to put himself through college and then grad school.
As an adult, he developed an intense desire to know who he was from a biological standpoint. When it comes to the question of nature vs. nurture in forming our psychological identity, Mike’s answer is a resounding, “BOTH!”
This is when Mike discovered exactly how difficult the average birth mother search can be in states with closed adoption records. What followed was several decades filled with private investigators, letter writing, phone calls and the unceasing support of other adoptees in search and reunion groups across the nation (beginning with a wonderful group of individuals in Chicago).
Through an incredible set of circumstances, Mike was eventually able to convince a judge in Florida to open his sealed adoption files and release the documentation. These records led him to locate his birth mother, who was happy to reunite and share information.
The story did not end there, however. Mike uncovered evidence that he was adopted outside of legal channels, indeed that he was the product of a black market transaction involving serious adoption fraud, all conducted by a prominent and well connected adoption broker in the 1950s.
The extent of the fraud was covered up by multiple state agencies and the court itself. Armed with this knowledge, Mike and a prominent Florida attorney filed an ambitious lawsuit to annul the fraudulent adoption and restore Mike’s biological identity.
After his legal victory, Mike found there was an insatiable appetite within the adoption community to know the “how” and “why” of his successful search and eventual annulment. He was contacted by many prominent individuals, and many other everyday citizens, all expressing an interest in whether Mike could help them with their own attempts to gain access to a document guaranteed to every other citizen of our great country–their legal and original birth certificates.
The Unfortunate Truth
Sadly, Mike’s story offers very little encouragement for other adoptees. He wrote his memoir Fraud on the Court: One Adoptee’s Fight to Reclaim His Identity to attempt to answer the “how” and “why” for those who would ask.
But the truth is that Mike accomplished what he did through a combination of circumstances that cannot be replicated or systematized. It was truly nothing short of miraculous that the right people–at the right times–came into his life and made a few key revelations that changed the course of his search efforts.
So the other purpose Mike now has is to help change the perception of the country (and world) at large–to bring to light the innate need that individuals have, that desire to know where we fit in the tree of humanity, and to advance the cause of adoptee rights and adoption reform.
This website, his memoir, and his ongoing efforts in speaking to all members of the adoption triad (birth parents, adoptive parents and adoptees) and to those outside of the triad, are just a part of his continuing participation in the fight to ensure that other adoptees don’t have to wait on their own miracles to enjoy the rights given to every other American citizen.
The check left to Mike in his adoptive father’s will, a check for $1.00