One Last, Year-End Look at the Passing Parade of People in the News : Family Ties

December 26, 1985|DOUG BROWN

View has revisited some of the people and places it reported on in the last several months. Among them:

--Hollywood's Masquers Club, which because of declining funds sold its building and moved.

--Jimmy and Ricky Sperry, blinded in an accident 11 years ago, who received cornea transplants in August.

--Balu Natarajan, who triumphed over 167 other youngsters to win the National Spelling Bee in June.

"When I relinquished my daughter for adoption 20 years ago," Ann Temkin of Santa Monica said, "I wasn't emotionally prepared to be a mother. I was an unwed, 17-year-old high school senior. I just felt my daughter wouldn't get a fair shake if I tried to raise her.

"I knew placing her up for adoption was the right decision for me," said the 38-year-old office manager of a Los Angeles nonprofit organization. "But I never knew if it was the right decision for her."

Seven days before Christmas, Temkin discovered the answer to this gnawing question. She phoned Ohio and had her first conversation with the daughter whom she had not seen since giving birth in January, 1966.

"She told me it had been the right decision for her, too," said Temkin, whose maiden surname is Massie. "She hadn't felt I'd abandoned her. She'd had a wonderful life with her adoptive parents."

Six months after learning about the Southern California chapter of Concerned United Birthparents through a story in The Times in June, Temkin is among scores of area biological mothers, organization spokesmen said, who have been reunited with children they surrendered for adoption years ago because of social, financial or moral constraints.

Adoption records usually are sealed, but the national search and support group headquartered in Dover, N.H., helps many of the estimated 10 million biological parents who have surrendered their children for adoption break through this legally imposed secrecy.

The organization's Southern California chapter has experienced a 20% membership increase since July, said statewide director Delayn Curtis. The organization now has 250 biological parents, adoptees and adoptive parents who attend meetings throughout the Southland. In the past six months, the organization also has received nearly 1,000 phone calls and letters seeking assistance, Curtis said at her Fountain Valley office.

In July, Temkin joined the organization's Los Angeles branch (818) 509-9096), which the Culver City native said provided her with emotional support and advice about hiring a "searcher" trained in tracking down adopted children.

(Information about the branch serving Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties may be obtained by calling Curtis at (714) 962-8866. San Diego County residents may call Janet Appleford at (619) 436-0892.)

Reunion Planned

Temkin's daughter, whose name she requested not be disclosed to protect the privacy of her daughter's adoptive parents, was traced to Ohio earlier this month. Temkin plans to fly there next month to meet her.

"If it hadn't been for CUB and (Los Angeles branch president) Suzanne Rubin, I'd never have found my daughter. I wouldn't have come to terms with some painful emotional problems I'd been unwilling--and unable--to deal with for 20 years.

"My life froze that day I gave up my daughter--even though I've had two (brief, childless) marriages and today have a comfortable career. For the first time since 1966, I finally feel that I can get on with my life; I know my daughter's OK."

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