When Gayle Helps was a teenager and looked at herself in the mirror, she saw a stranger.
“I wanted to see my [biological] family, my ancestors,” the 57-year-old Montrealer said in an interview. When she was still in kindergarten, Helps learned she was adopted. She immediately wanted to uncover the identity of her birth parents, and has been trying to find them ever since.
By David Silverberg | MOTHERBOARD
Over the years that followed, Helps did some sleuthing, scouring birth records and other documents, even travelling to the township outside Montreal where she believed her birth mother was from. Three decades ago, she learned that her biological mom had passed away before they had a chance to meet. She couldn’t find the name of her birth father.
So, like a growing number of people, Helps went online.
It was there that she learned about DNA Detectives, a Facebook group run by volunteers who call themselves “search angels” and who help adoptees, sperm donor kids, and others who are hunting for their biological relatives.