Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 12, 2012

Woman meets her birth mom after 60 years

'It's the best emotion I ever felt,' she said


---- — FLINT (AP) — After searching for more than a year, a woman born in 1955 in Flint and then given up for adoption finally met her biological mother this August.

In a recent story in the Martinsville Bulletin in Virginia, Beth Heal, of Tawas City, met her biological mother, Betty Brown, at her home in Martinsville, Virginia.

"It's the best emotion I've ever felt," Brown told the paper.

The last time they had seen one another was 57 years ago in Flint.

Brown, 22 at the time, came to Michigan from Virginia to keep the pregnancy a secret from her husband who she planned to divorce. Brown's father feared the courts would not let her keep her two toddlers if the pregnancy was discovered, she told the Bulletin.

Brown said she kept the pregnancy a secret her whole life, only telling one family member who had a stillborn in the hopes that the story might comfort her.

Meanwhile, Heal told the Bulletin that she grew up in Michigan in a loving family that never hid the fact she was adopted from her. Heal did not start looking for Brown until her adoptive mother died in March 2011.

She hired a private investigators after Genesee County told her the adoption data she wanted was sealed indefinitely.

After learning Brown was going through a divorce, Heal emailed 52 counties in Virginia asking for divorce information.