The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

January 13, 2013

Change in law allows adoptees to find information



Osborn graduated from Danville High School and is president of Central States Distribution.

“My brother knew of my existence,” he said, adding his biological mother in her later years before her death in 1985 mentioned to various family members about the infant son she had given up for adoption.

“Lucille didn’t forget that she had dropped me off up here,” he said. “I think she really wanted someone to know before she passed away.

“R.E.’s wife, Diane, started looking online a year or two ago (for me),” Osborn said.

Without knowing Osborn’s name, and Osborn not knowing he had a biological brother who was looking for him, the online search was fruitless.

It wasn’t until Osborn received his new birth certificate in the mail that the pieces of the puzzle came together rather quickly.

Osborn recalled the day he discovered his biological last name.

“I’d never heard that name, Stancliff, in my life,” he said. “But I went online and found a Stancliff genealogy site — The Descendants of James Stanclift of Middletown, Conn., 1690 — and I asked the administrator of the site, ‘Can you tell me where I fit in?’

“She’s the one who told me about R.E., so I Googled him and I found his address and phone number, but I decided to craft a letter.

“There was some trepidation,” he admitted, “but I told him a little bit about myself and some contact info.”

Upon receiving the letter, Stancliff picked up the phone and called his long lost brother, and the two men had “a long conversation,” Osborn said.

Months of e-mails finally culminated in Osborn and his wife, Cathy, driving down to Russellville, Ark., at the end of October to meet R.E. and Diane face-to-face.

“I was curious at that point,” he said of meeting his brother. “He had sent photos and I knew exactly what he looked like, but I wanted to meet him in person.

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