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Searching for fathers leads all requests

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By SAM HATCHERThe Wilson PostA former Mt. Juliet resident, who has made her living for the past several years finding people, told members of the Lebanon Morning Rotary yesterday that her number one requested search is for finding fathers. Norma Tillman, who now resides in Brentwood, through her work as a private investigator has a proven track record for finding people. In fact, in her career she has located more than 1,000 missing persons.Introducing her topic Thursday, Tillman told Rotarians that being a private investigator is “not like what you see on television,” adding that most cases are not solved within a hour time frame.She explained that finding missing fathers is so important because today 50 percent of the children in the U.S. are being raised in single parent homes.She said the mothers of these children are seeking child support and other needs from the missing fathers and that the children themselves need to have information about their fathers for their appropriate development as adults.  Tillman said the second most requested search is for adoption information, adding that people who have been raised by adoptive parents have special needs to know their true identities. She said they need to know about medical histories and other information that may be important to them as they live their lives.Tillman writes about searching for true identities in her latest book, The Adoption Searcher’s Handbook, and discusses the search for identity and the search for closure.  An adoption search, she said, is the most difficult search of all.She said many states have refused to open adoption records although she noted Tennessee in recent years has taken important steps to ensure records are open here.In The Adoption Searcher’s Handbook, Tillman explains the essentials for an adoption search. The book addresses such topics as: the adoption process, the adoption search, adoption records, understanding state laws, privacy laws, and reference libraries.Tillman’s goal for The Adoption Searcher’s Handbook is two-fold.: First, she hopes to provide a comprehensive guide for adoptees, biological families, and others who need to conduct an adoption search. Second, she wants to provide real insight on the realities involved in adoption searching.“Adoption searching is not easy, there are no set rules that apply to all cases -- each case is different.  In order to conduct an adoption search, the searcher must understand the adoption process to know what trails may exist and what records they may have access to.“The reasons for an adoption search may vary and are often misunderstood.  Adoptees have a need to know their identity, their heredity, and their medical history.  Their search is primarily for information and identity, and not necessarily for a relationship. Birth parents have a need to know that their decision to allow their child to be adopted was in the child’s best interest and that the child has had a good life. Birth parents often live with guilt and regret and have a need for peace of mind. Regardless of the reason for the search or the outcome of the search, the truth will set them free. They can live with what they find, it’s what they don’t know that causes problems.” Tillman said.Tillman is recognized as one of the country’s preeminent experts on finding missing persons. Her background includes 11 years of working with law enforcement, two years of insurance fraud investigations, and more than 20 years of private investigations. The author of How to Find Almost Anyone, Anywhere, The Man with the Turquoise Eyes and other True Stories of a Private Eye’s Search for Missing Persons and The Adoption Searcher’s Handbook, Tillman has appeared on “Oprah,” “The View,” “Nancy Grace,” CNN, NBC and about a hundred talk shows.CEO and Publisher Sam Hatcher may be contacted at shatcher@wilsonpost.com.
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