Celebrity investigative genealogist Slaton, well known to TV audiences for her success in reuniting nearly 3,000 adoptees with their birth families, writes about her experiences.
The author was featured in hip-hop star Darryl “DMC” McDaniels' Emmy-winning documentary My Adoption Journey; she helped him conduct an on-camera search for his birth family. McDaniels only learned about his adoption in his mid 30s, and he was planning to write an autobiography. The experience of finding his mother was transformative, turning him into an advocate for open adoption—and also for Slaton, who through her work on the documentary also became a public figure (she now has her own TV show on the Oprah Winfrey Network). An adopted child herself, the author’s sleuthing career began 15 years ago when her husband hired an investigator to locate her birth mother. Although she was raised by a loving adoptive family, Slaton had always wondered about her roots. “Searching for one's origins means nothing less than validating one's own existence,” she writes. The author tells about finding her own extended birth family and the touching stories of some of the clients she has helped. In most instances the parents who had given up their child for adoption were overjoyed to meet their adult children. This was not true of Slaton’s mother, however. Not only did she refuse to meet her daughter, but she also lied, telling the author that she was the child of an incestuous relationship. The experience was so distressing that Slaton became active in KinQuest, a support group for adoptees that helps them reconnect with their birth families. The author also found her father, and her involvement in KinQuest set her on a new career path as an investigator.
A heartwarming account, still relevant even though out-of-wedlock birth is no longer stigmatized and the concept of family has broadened.