By International Social Service, the Global Social Work Organization
ISS - 100 Years : The story of Christine, adopted in the 1950s in Australia, searching for her origins.

The story of Christine, adopted in the 1950s in Australia, searching for her origins.

Christine, born and adopted in Australia in the 1950s, sought support from ISS Australia to locate her biological mother and brother. Christine’s biological mother, Jane*, was born in the United Kingdom.  Jane had a 3-year-old son, Michael* at the time of Christine’s birth.

ISS Australia made enquiries with the National Health Service in the UK and were sadly informed that Jane had died in the 1990s. With this information, Jane’s death certificate was obtained, which identified that her son Michael lived in Canada at Jane’s time of death.

ISS Australia then reached out to ISS Canada for their support. ISS Canada tried to locate Michael by searching for his address and writing to several of them.

A few months later, Michael responded, stating he had retired to an island in the Mediterranean and had been forwarded ISS Canada’s letter by his ex-wife in Canada. Michael was aware he had a sister who had been adopted and was pleased to hear she wanted to be in contact.

All in all, this search covered three continents, Australia, Europe, and North America. ISS Australia facilitated contact between the siblings Christine (in Australia) and Michael (in the Mediterranean) until they felt mutually comfortable to have direct contact.

18 months later, Christine and Michael remain in regular contact by phone and email and plan to meet one day.

* Name and details changed to protect client privacy

If you want to learn more about ISS work related to searching for origins, please consult these two ISS Publications. ISS publications are the result of comprehensive research and analysis, cross border expertise and field work relying on various sources of literature and resources. Most publications are a collaborative effort involving ISS General Secretariat technical staff, ISS Members and other experts and partners.

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ISS is present in more than 120 countries, constituting a well-connected network of NGOs, authorities and private social work practices. The ISS global network is coordinated by the ISS General Secretariat in Geneva.
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