After 40 years, family is reunited with daughter lost to an illegal adoption

“Deception may give us what we want for the present,
but it will always take it away in the end.”
Rachel Hawthorne

On November 30, 1976, a baby girl was born to a young couple in New Jersey. A few days later she was placed with a married couple through an illegal adoption scheme.

For the next forty years, the young couple had no idea where their baby was or if she was safe, healthy or even alive. Over the years they attempted to search for her through adoption registries and reunion websites but were unsuccessful. It was extremely distressing.

For the same forty years–and only a few miles apart–their daughter was manipulated into believing she was the biological child of the couple who adopted her. This continued until 2017 when an unexpected result on an Ancestry DNA test shattered their web of lies.

Michelle 4 days old

Michelle Riess – December 1976

This is our family’s unbelievable adoption story. Continue reading