I am LDA

October 11, 2015

I learned last Tuesday that I am adopted. I will be 50 in December. These two facts place me solidly in a category of adoptees known as Late Discovery Adoptee (LDA). I learned this fact as I careened around the internet in my shock and disbelief. I found forums, I found books. I found out that I am not alone. I created this website to be a repository for data, to create a safe space for me to explore and vent, and to set up a sheltered email. If someone is reading this and needs those things too, please feel free to contact me. It’s been less than a week since my discovery but already I am beginning to see that there can be many common landmines and needs particular to the LDA that really deserve specific focus. Perhaps this will become a resource for other LDAs. If nothing else, apart from my own selfish needs, perhaps someone can be comforted if they see their own situation in mine.


My cousin told me I was adopted. She was tormented by indecision. My adoptive father was a very harsh man and those that knew were sworn to secrecy, or threatened to it. She is older than me so she has known this fact all of my life. She was inspired to tell me because we had been discussing the story of another cousin who was adopted, who had somewhat recently found her biological mother and has since developed a relationship with her and her half siblings. I told her that I thought that was very nice, and also rather tragic that it took so long – how many years wasted that they could have known one another! It was that sentiment that inspired her, and even that took her several weeks of agonizing before she finally broke down and told me.

I was, predictably, in shock and denial at first. My ramblings about the internet since have led me to many, many adoptee stories. Not as many LDAs, but a few. I have yet to come across one that was as wholly blindsided as myself. Honestly, it makes me feel a little dumb. Everybody seems to have had feelings about it or suspicions. I reached out to the adopted cousin (who, as it turned out, also knew my truth) and she told me that a lot of little questionable things that I dismissed in the past will start coming to mind as I walk this path. None have, as yet. My adoptive mother at 42 was old to be having a baby in 1965 but I was satisfied with her explanation that they had found a doctor who helped her carry after having had difficulties. My middle brother who is also adopted and I look nothing alike, but even that never engendered any real suspicion – even about him specifically, since I at least bear some faint resemblance to our parents but he does not. Our birth certificates, altered as I now have learned, bear our adoptive parents’ names. I was just truly not at all suspicious that I was adopted.

I contacted a cousin on the other side of the family, who confirmed the truth, so there was nothing for it but to accept this strange new reality.