Rochester, New York woman in search of birth parents.

Rochester, New York woman in search of birth parents.

Finding Links to the Past – By Matt Ulakovic

Finding the Link

This post explores the phenomenon of adoptees searching for their birth parents through the medium of social media. The provenance of this particular meme is a relatively recent occurrence.  But the trend has been growing ever since a young woman in California created a basic poster board description of what birth details she knew, then took a photo of herself with the poster and broadcast it on social media asking others to like and share the photo so that she might possibly be able to reunite with her birth parents.

Adoptee Search Success

As crazy as this seemingly extreme tactic sounds, it actually worked. Her story was subsequently covered in the national media and furthered the attention and ambitions of many more adopted people across the country and the social-verse.

Although the practice is relatively recent to the Facebook scene, a quick search uncovers many more of these adoptee search photos online.  It’s a surprising and heartbreaking discovery to see so many people resorting to such a public tactic. It’s not just photos either. Whole blogs, web sites, and social media pages are dedicated to help share the story of people carrying out the search of their lives thanks to technology.

Girl holds poster of birth details in hopes of finding her past.

Girl holds poster of birth details in hopes of finding her past.

Root Meanings

Maybe it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise that creating and sharing these photos has become a popular hope for so many. Everyone deserves to know where they come from – for good or bad – if they so choose to know. It’s especially illuminating because most of us know someone or have a friend who is adopted, and most anyone could empathize with the desire of wanting to know your birth mom and dad and genealogy. But could we really imagine what it’s like to not know our genealogy if it’s been so certain to us our whole lives?

The message this meme sends is one that saddens the heart to contemplate. There is an absolute desperation for connections to the roots and truth of each of our lives, and the system that has been devised for adoption has its flaws. Perhaps these folks aren’t just looking for their past beginnings, but also to let the world know that the laws surrounding adoption are not right.

Man also searching for his past demonstrates the

An Illinois man also searching for his past.


9 thoughts on “Finding Links to the Past

  1. Correction/ Addition- Amanda Whalen

    I think it would be a good idea to expand on the unfair laws behind the adoption records. Explain why people have to use social media to try to find birthparents because the laws are unfair at the beginning of the post. The first link in the last paragraph kind of explains it but I think it would be best to actually say it in the blog and then give the link if people are interested.

  2. I find this to be extremely interesting. I’ve never seen or heard of this type of meme before seeing this blog post. I think it is a great way of getting the message out there. Social media is the most efficient way of spreading news in today’s society; and for people to continually reblog and repost these types of things can really make and impact. I also find this to be a great idea because of how common memes have become. Memes are shown on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, random websites, etc. With this, there is more than one way to spread the word and possibly help these people do what they are trying to do. Like you stated, the meme saddens the heart. This plays with your emotions and it may make people more apt to repost or reblog it.

  3. Comment- I like the message behind this meme because it serves a higher purpose. I can see why the adoption laws can be seen as flawed and I never really considered how terrible it may be to not know ones “roots”. I agree that social media should be used in this constructive way to help those who are searching for answers be heard as well as to help raise awareness for things that are not just in the world.

  4. Very well written. Might want to add the word “to” after “thanks” in the sentence “…people carrying out the search of their lives thanks technology.”

  5. Comment: This is a really interesting topic! I didn’t realize that it could be a meme. I have seen quite a few of these over social media sites. I think you did a good job with explaining the memes and their meanings. * There are a few words through out your text with missing letters, so maybe go back and re-read to fix them. 🙂

  6. I find these meme to be very touching. It is nice to see that memes are being used to make a difference in peoples lives. I liked your approach and how you find other examples of more people who were trying to do the same thing. Great job overall! There were a few mechanical errors, so maybe just re-read your paragraphs! – At the end of the Adaptee Search Success paragraph you could change it to “thanks TO technology” 🙂

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