This article was recently published in the Baltimore Sun, and is one of the more interesting search and reunion stories I have read since starting at Adoption STAR in April.
The story tells the adoption journey of Ron Ryba, who made an adoption plan in high school when his then-girlfriend became pregnant. For years Ryba said that he lived with guilt, and worried his son would be angry with him for this decision.
In 2004 Ryba thought he had reunited with his son, Philip Bloete, and the two began to forge a close relationship. However, according to the article, when Ryba began to prepare a will and wanted to include Bloete, his lawyer suggested the two have a DNA test. It turns out Bloete was not Ryba’s birth son.
Ryba spent the next 7 years going through the courts to have the adoption records opened so that he could find his birth son, until one day he was given an anonymous tip from someone that worked in the agency. The article said that this person gave him two names to contact, either of which could be his birth son. The first person Ryba contacted also agreed to a DNA test, and it was not a match.
Finally Ryba contacted Kevin Callaghan in Philadelphia, PA, but Kevin told him that he wasn’t adopted. Amazingly, according to the article, Callaghan knew of another Kevin Callaghan in the Philadelphia area that may have been adopted.
When Ryba finally contacted the correct Kevin Callaghan, they agreed to have a DNA test, which proved that they were father and son. The two finally met recently according to the article.
While his story managed to have a happy ending Ryba is still fighting for open adoption records for other adult adoptees and birth parents.
Adoption STAR offers search and reunion suggestions to adult adoptees through its ACE Support Group. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.