Abandoned Babies

Gary Gatwick

Today, I read the story about the baby that was abandoned in 1986 at the Gatwick Airport.  He was later adopted, had a decent childhood and attempted to locate his birth family after having a child himself.  He has been successful but much like my own mother, discovered that the woman who gave birth to him has died and thus, he’ll never get the answer to the question closest to his heart of “why?”.

Not that long ago, I also read a story titled The Foundling: The True Story of a Kidnapping, a Family Secret, and My Search for the Real Me by Paul Joseph Fronczak.  His was also the story of a search for his authentic roots.

People who are not adopted or abandoned often do not understand why knowing one’s true identity is so important to some of us.  A writer friend of mine once asked – “If the adoptive family was good, why does it matter?”  As I talked to her about it, she came to understand how most people actually take such a deep knowing for granted.  Indeed, many don’t really care about it at all until they are much older, if they ever do.

A piece in the Huffington Post some years ago realized that “this was a shared narrative with no fixed racial or cultural background: my own search for identity, though anchored in part by my own experiences, is part of something larger. It is a collective and contemporary identity crisis.”

Maybe this explains the popularity of DNA testing and the matching sites of Ancestry or 23 and Me.  I also wonder, given the pushback on women’s rights taking place at the moment, if beyond threatening women’s health and autonomy, an unintended consequence could become more abandoned babies . . . and depending on where and when, may result in death.