Duffy's Closet Adoption Forum

This page is for all of those like me,
Who are searching for someone.

This picture of the fairy and child was done by Billi, it is a beautiful piece of artwork unto itself,
 yet lending to the topic of this page sends a powerful image of love between a mother and a child which bond never breaks
 no matter what end of the adoption triad you may be.
She graciously has allowed me to use this for this particular page. She is also an adoptee.
Please let her know how wonderful her artwork is at



This picture above was taken at Atlantic City NJ with my oldest son James who was 3.
It was the same year my son who I named Michael was born.
I have always looked at this picture and been torn between my love for the son I had,
 and the son I was coerced into giving up for adoption.

I am a Birth Mother searching for her son, as well as a sibling searching for her adopted Birth Sister.
Through the process I have gathered quite a bit of information and found several links to adoption issues and support, both for the Adoptee who is searching as well as Birth Parents and the extended Birth Family.
I have through the years helped find for others as well as co-chaired a support group in Houston Texas.
I have donated my time and efforts to support adoption reform legislation for open records after the age of consent.
I believe that an Adoptee should have the CHOICE to have the records open to them upon their request. It is a RIGHT TO CHOOSE issue.
The legislators who use the confidentiality excuse are ignoring the rights for the Adoptee, as well as the rights to the Birth Mother to allow access to her information.
As we all know there is a form we MUST supply as Birth Mother's to allow any access to our information. Thus their ISSUE is truly a NON-ISSUE as far as I am concerned.
 I have included several links for searching as well as a link to sign the petitions in your areas. This is extremely important for all in the Adoption Triad.
We have a voice we MUST USE IT !!!!!!!
Remember all you Birth Mom's like me to get those wavers signed and sent along with a medical history and updated contact information.
 When the law is changed as we all pray it will be done soon, you will want that information available in the file.

I began my search in my heart from the day I left my son at the hospital. I began to actively search when my son James became 21 years old. The year was 1989.
That is when I told him he had a brother and the circumstances of not keeping him. I hoped and I was correct that this information was given and taken with love and understanding.
Along with the knowledge that my son was now mature enough to hear the words, without recrimination nor condemnation. Just a wonderful gift of acceptance and understanding. Part of the shame was lifted that day.
I started searching online and at that time there was not much there to find. I did find the Soundex reunion and other sites to register along with several support groups that I have been a part of since I started my search.
 Njandde a support group advocate for NJ and DE searches. NYAdoption group advocates for searching in NY.
Bmom.com an advocate for Birth mom's searching, Aol at that time had a chat group for the adoption triad and it was invaluable in the beginning.
These sites led me to a books entitled; Lifeline The Action Guide to Adoption Search by Virgil L. Klunder You, Too Can Find Anybody by Joseph J. Culligan Searching in New York,
by Kate Burke Search, A Handbook for Adoptees and Birthparents, 2nd Addition by Jayne Askin, with Molly Davis.
I sent in the request for information along the guidelines of Lifeline and received much needed information and several denials of same from agencies.
This book is a must for anyone who needs to access information through a government department and their correct forms and paperwork demands.
At this time I also received a list of baby boys born on the same date as my son, and baby girls born on my sister's birthday.
These were pages and pages of information that I still am working on to this day. I did send out some letters but no response and put it away as other leads were bearing fruit and I needed to pursue.
I registered on all adoption registries that I could find.
I received paperwork from that adoption agency in NJ, found were the hospital records were kept from NJ in Pa.
Sent pictures and medical histories to the agency to put in my son's records along with a release for information and contact information from me to him.
This is a necessary form to be on file from any birthparent. We birthparent's for the majority wish contact with our children, not like they would have you believe in Washington.
Again old establishment making rules without caring what the constituents would truly wish.
Take some surveys when you are voting on adoption reform legislation and you would find what the triad wants from their legislators.
I also signed and continue to sign petitions and email congressmen and senators and even the president when I have something I wish them to know.
It doesn't matter if they respond or not, nor does it matter if they pay attention, it matters that I have a voice and I used it for a cause that is dear to my heart.
At this time in 1990 my life was in an adjustment phase once again I was divorcing for the second time and work was becoming more of a focus taking longer hours and my career was taking over all my focus.
 I stopped searching for this period. This would last until 1995.
I began my search again first by joining the Registration Drive Volunteers for the Soundex Reunion Registry,
working the tables at the malls answering questions no matter how personal to let people know they had a right for knowledge and the registration
was a wonderful start and necessary beginning for all searches. Soon I joined the Houston chapter of an Adoption Support Group.
I felt at home there and learned much about searching and counseling those that in need on all sides of the adoption family.
This we call a Triad, The Adoptee Child, The Birthparents and family, and The Adoptive Parents and family.
In this setting I met some adoptees who were very sincere in their quest and some so angry and underneath all the correct terminology they wanted to inflict pain on the Birthparent in question.
These people were referred to therapy to resolve the anger issues before we could help them. All have a responsibility to the adoption family triad to protect not to cause harm.
When the original founder Peggy Dorn, decided to retire from the group she asked if another searcher Janice Krasoff, and I would take over for her and continue the group.
This we did but in time the building was to become unavailable and Janice's health and her husband's health, along with my job needing more of my time we had to discontinue the group after a year.
I did suggest to those that were still needing this type of support group leads on the best support internet groups that could help until another group was started in Houston.
Janice my co-chair moved to Florida with her husband and both have since passed away. During this time I had helped a few people find who they were searching for and it worked out well.
Yet there were still many that there just was not the information available at that time. There is so much more out there now and I hope they succeeded in their searches and that they went well.
During the group time I became involved with the Adoption Quilt Project and made a square for my son, sister, and one for Janice herself to be stitched into the quilt.
This quilt was designed much like the Aids quilt a square for each person with birth date and contact information stitched into the square.
This was presented in Washington DC and there was a march to show the powers that be that this is an issue that will not go away.
Secrets are no longer secrets, the light of truth has truly set most of us free from the shame heaped on us years ago that we were conditioned at the time to believe was our due.
I have posted on my website the pictures of this event. Since I lived in Texas and funds were limited I could not go to Washington in person but be assured my heart was there with every person marching that day.
At this time I also began searching for my half sisters and half brother. My sister Lori and I sat down one day and with phone in hand started calling all Duswalt numbers listed in NJ,
 this is were we believed they might live. I started in South Jersey and after a few calls got lucky. We asked for Steven Duswalt and Linda our sister answered and asked who we where.
I explained what we were trying to do and she said you found us. She lived at the address and Steven was visiting so we spent a few hours on the phone connecting.
It was the easiest phone call I have ever experienced. We set a meeting for when I would be in NJ visiting for the end of 1995.
We all met at my brother Jim's house and what a wonder we all looked so alike, and more importantly we all welcomed each in this new extension of family.
Shortly after this Linda with support from me and leads on how to do it found our baby sister Jean.
She and Steve went to meet her first, then I met her. What a treasure she is and so very welcome to this family.
Linda continues her support of my searches to this day, always available for support or anything else I might need.
In 1996 I visited Linda in NJ and we went to the Manhattan Public Library to find information on my half sister Eve.
We verified her birth date and birth year which my Mother had wrong and got the birth registry number. We did not have time to work on the lists to find the corresponding number and adoptive name for her.
But I did feel I had finally made some headway in this search for her. With all the dead ends at last something concrete to go from.
At this time I confirmed the rumor that my son's biological father Aldmer (Happy) Dewey Whitaker was indeed alive and had not died in prison in Miami Fl.
 I contacted the prison's and sent the correct request in writing and they responded that he had indeed been imprisoned there but had been released.
I then posted inquiries on the internet for information on his were a bouts. This resulted in one of his daughters contacting me wanting to know if I had any information on his location.
 I did not but she had his brothers work number. I called his brother Ernest and had him contact his brother and connected him with his daughters through emails set for protection.
Their mother was afraid of him finding them I believe that has all worked out and he is living in Lake Hopatcong NJ. He was told about my son but there is not contact and I believe that is for the best.
If he has not changed the reasons for my distance from him stand still. 
I then started my website Duffyscloset.com a tribute to my father and family with a section on adoption search links for those of us who are searching and support groups that might be able to help.
 Along with this personal letters to my son and my sister. I continued my search for both Michael and Eve until 1999, when I moved from Texas to New Jersey.
Life again interfered with working 2 jobs and opening a part time business I had no energy or time left to search. I moved within New Jersey twice then moved to upstate New York until this year 2009 moving back to Texas.
 I am living with my son James and his two sons taking care of them as he has custody of the boys.
When I look at his little family it is bittersweet sometimes, always wondering always feeling an emptiness in my heart for my other son Michael.
Wondering if he has children, if he is happy, is he safe? Did he have the life I dreamed he would?
Someday perhaps he will understand, but if not it is fine, I can at least give him the gift of information and answers to his questions.
Along with that the gift of a brother who wishes to find him as well. There is much love within my fragmented family.
The secrets were finally released to all in 1996 at a family reunion, and everyone is waiting to hear perhaps that my son wishes to meet them as well.
I hope so. I will as I can continue searching with the help of my son and his sons who wish to find this Aunt and this Uncle they hear about.
I still write about and talk about my searching as an advocate for others searching and support for those that wish it. I also will always be available to help in a search if I can be of assistance.
Those that have known me through the years will tell you. This is an on going part of my life, I am not ashamed, just determined to someday find.
Thank you
Marion Duswalt-Pinney


I have sent two squares to the Adoption Quilt, one of which I have included in the pictures here.
The picture is for the square for my son born in Dover, NJ, 11/20/1971. The second square  is  for my sister born in Manhattan NYC 3/13/1951.
The larger picture is of the quilt itself which you can see one of my squares included. If you would like to contact me personally on an adoption issue please contact me through this site.

                                                          Thank you for your time, interest and support in our mutual quests.                                                                                    
Marty Duswalt-Pinney     

My quilt square, for the Adoption Quilt.

The Adoption Quilt.


  Click on this link for more
     pictures of the march on Washington and the Quilt

The First Step in Searching Register with the International Soundex Reunion Registry
The ISRR is the oldest and largest free reunion registry in the world. It is a confidential, mutual consent registry,
which means that information sent to the ISRR will not be given to any third party or used to solicit business for professional searchers.
To get a free registration form, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:
ISRR P.O. Box 2312 Carson City, NV 89702-2312
The ISRR can also be reached by telephone at (702) 882-7755. For more information about the ISRR and how it works, visit the ISRR informational site at:

I have belonged to this group for a very long time as some of my searching is in NJ. Great list to belong to as well as information on searching in these two states.

Click on this link to go to their site.


This is another group that is invaluable in the search process you need to be added to their list as well.

Adoption Search and Reunion  

The Adoption Show

The adoption show slide

This is a great site for those of us that still see things as they really were then and are in many cases still.

Click on this link for more information

Great site to either search your family tree or posting one. It does cost a fee but is worth the cost. Our family is listed there.

Other Search & Informational Sites


CIS Investigative Resources


Ameridex Information Systems


Obituary Search


Social Security information




Ancestry Genealogy

The following list is for New Jersey and New York searchers with a few general sites as well.
There are so many places to see and explore and these will be just a stepping stone to the over all journey you are about to begin.
 Please forgive any duplications or any links that do not work for you.
 I update as time allows and sometimes I miss one or two.


Reunion Registry

Adoption Information and Support Lists

To subscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

You can use this to contact the list manager to join.
This is a must it is the best out there for searching New York state.




Write her to get on her list for Birth Mothers only

This is also her site

ON AOL use keyword search type in adoption, click on conference center then click on Back Yard this is a wonderful support group area.

Use it often.
This is an organization for Adoptees search and support.


Organization for Adoptees - Search and Individual Support



To subscribe send email to above the type in the body subscribe

State Information Links

This is one of the best resources you will find on the net. Check it out.
Tina's New York and New Jersey Adoption Pages


Tina's US State by State Adoption Information Pages



The Alma Society

A great adoption information site.

NJcourt rules

Consumer Law Page


Council for Equal Rights in Adoption

** A natural mother who has lost her child to adoption solely because of her age and/or lack of  support / /information/resources.   An unrecognized mother,  she has been thrown away,  banished and discarded by her parents,  the adoption industry and society,  who deemed her unworthy to parent her own child.


County Courthouse Address & Telephone Number Finder




Our family uses the above for our family history.

Current Adoption Legislation


Bastard Nation keeps a current legislation list



S.R.R.: The International Soundex Reunion Registry







Registries and Searchable Data Bases ( note some of these charge)










The Volunteer Search Network



For Adoptees Only


in body type subscribe adoptees and your first and last name

Searchable Data Bases

Delaware Support Groups


adoption searching






New Jersey Adoption Registry

New Jersey State Libraries


Genealogy Help list New Jersey



The Children's Home Society



Everyone should visit the award-winning site, Voices of Adoption. Webmaven and adoptee activist Denise Castelluci has put together a website with stories,
links, chat, mailing lists and activism links. This site has something for everyone involved in adoption.

This site above is a must for all sides of the adoption triad. It has information on how you can become an activist

if you choose as well as information on what is happening around the country on adoption reform. Please check this site out.

Who's Next

Bastard Nation
There is a percentage of the population, and adoptees are no exception, that are activists by nature.
We are not satisfied with negative answers to our searching questions, and we have a burning desire to uphold truth and justice in our world.
If you are more interested in changing the rules than talking about your issues, take a trip to Bastard Nation's website at

 bastards.org.Bastard Nations

Mission statement reads, in part:

"Bastard Nation's primary goal is the opening to adoptees, upon request at age of majority, of those government documents which pertain to the adoptee' historical,
genetic and legal identity, including the unaltered original birth certificate and adoption decree."
See the BN website for more details and membership information.


I want to do more than search -- I want to help others! The Adoption Ring

Surf the Adoption Ring Wave !


Here at the Adoption Web Ring you can add your page to the web ring of other pages, or view the listing of other adoptee web sites.
T.I.E.S., the Terminal Illness Emergency Search Program, performs free search and support services for terminally ill adoptees and birthparents.
This is a 501c3 nonprofit, all-volunteer organization. If you or someone you know is terminally ill and ready to search for birthparents or relinquished offspring, visit the T.I.E.S.


 At the website you can find information about applying for the program and volunteer opportunities.

Every year on the first Saturday in October, triad members all over the US volunteer at RegDay sites to promote the ISRR and get people registered.
 If you are interested in helping out on
RegDay, you might consider signing up for the mailing list, or registering on the RegDay website.
Instructions for the mailing list and information about volunteering can be found on the Adoption Registration Coalition's website at:
 RegDay tables are set up in malls, bookstores, parks, etc., and volunteers help searchers fill out forms, answer questions about searching and promote the registry to the media and general public.

Click on this link to go to their site.


Support Open Records For All Adoptees!

Adoption Petition NY

Start you own petitions

Welcome to NJCARE

You also must sadly be aware that there are some people out there that will take advantage of your emotional needs and offer services for outrageous fees.
Your best bet will always be to check them out, you can email the lists I will supply and ask them for referrals this will eliminate the criminals taking advantage of you.
Please always check out anything that seems too good to be true for as we all know it usually is not good at all.


Do not get discouraged or ever give up. Take a step back if you feel overwhelmed, I have had to do this several times.
It is all right, you are not giving up you are emotionally regrouping. You can also reach towards the support that is out there, waiting to share their advise
 as well as their time to let you know you are never alone in this endeavor.

Click on  links to proceed to pages



                                                            Letters To My Son           Return To Duffy's Closet        Letters To My Sister                                                               

Guest Book


Tom Parrela

Tom's Website

Song Title: Behind Stone Walls

Album: Sessions of Camelot
Release Date:  2001

All who hear Tom sing are captured by not only his voice but his soul.
 The words and music weave around your own senses keeping you captured
by the beauty and honesty found within the man through his music.
He is someone I admire and perhaps have a bit of hero worship as well.
He is one of those people who has touched my life,
that I will never forget and will always keep in touch.
He has graciously allowed me to use his music on my site.

Background graphics by Castleberry Art Web Graphics

Above is a program for all who love e-books and wish to make their own picture albums to share or books to publish.

If you are getting the message "you do not have access to change this file!"
Our "iPower" is the solution.  Now all those programs you bought for
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