A dissapointing letter

Nathaniel Christopher 4 Comments

Well, I can’t say today was my favourite day.

I got some bad mail.

A couple of months ago I petitioned the courts where my father was born to unseal his adoption records. I’ve always been curious as to the identity of my grandparents. I know he was too, but was never able to open those records.

I began the process to open them last summer when I travelled to Alabama. I convinced a judge in my father’s birth town to order the records open only to find out he was adopted across the river in Georgia where the process is far more complicated.

I spent a lot of time and money preparing my petition. I got all the proper forms. Drafted all the necessary documents.  Put away the $83.50. Waited patiently.

Today I received a response. Sort of.

It’s not an end, just a setback.

I read the Georgia Code and apparently I have to petition the adoption agency before I petition the courts. Apparently they need to make the effort to contact my father’s adoptive parents (who have been dead for 50 plus years) in case they object to this information being released… it seems silly, but that’s the law.

Again, it’s just a setback but it’s extremely frustrating nonetheless. I’ve put so much work into this project, only to have it thrown back in my face one more time. I have to admit, I nearly cried when I opened the envelope and read that letter.

But there is some positivity in this.

For the first time ever I have received some help from the courts on how to proceed with this case. I’ve had to do most of it on my own up to this point. I’m learning as I go. But when I ask the courts in Georgia for help all they will tell me is “you have to petition the court. I can’t give legal advice, you’ll need a lawyer.” Pretty much every road in this pursuit leads to someone telling me to get a lawyer.

Fuck that.

In this latest letter, however, the judge’s clerk tells me exactly what I need to do in order to proceed. Although it was not the answer I was looking for, I’m really grateful that she provided me with that information. It really helped me.

So, I guess I’ll take her advice and be patient about it. I’m sure I’ll get all the information I seek, but it’ll take a bit longer than I had hoped.

Oh yeah, she sent back my money order which is great since I am completely broke until Friday. I guess now I can go out for dinner with my friend Caitlin on Wednesday. Yay!

I’ve taken my sleeping pills… I’m ushering in tomorrow… one blue pill at a time.

I am a resident of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, who has been blogging here for nearly 25 years. I enjoy sharing my thoughts and feelings on my own online platform. From 1998 until 2017, I worked as a journalist, and I have posted most of my articles in the 'News' section of this website.


  1. It’s one more brick in the path of finding out about them. At least you weren’t left with a dead end. I suggest a thank you letter to the kind lady who gave you the info to go forward.

  2. Thank you for your nice words Terry and Unsigned Masterpiece!

    Yeah, I’m doing the unofficial stuff as well. Genealogy sites are godsend…. through them I have managed to make contact with my father’s adoptive family. It doesn’t sound that impressive, but my father had not had any contact with them since 1960… so it was an odd reunion.

    They are my cousins and so forth and we have the same ancestors… but I’m not blood related. But the search and the “reunion” felt pretty real.

    Now, I have but one more layer to uncover… maybe two more layers since my father once put a son up for adoption. I have a half brother in Georgia somewhere.

  3. Nathaniel, I have to admire you for your perseverance and dedication for the long road you’ve traveled on your own. Whenever people used to tell me that “patience is a virtue” my favorite comeback was “I’m not virtuous!” Good luck on your journey and I hope it ends sooner rather than later.


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