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Adoption law leads to reunion

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  • Adoption law leads to reunion

    Hmph. Adopted *children*.

    Adoption law leads to reunion

    By Beth LaMontagne
    [email protected]

    ELIOT, Maine - Jim Trefethen and Shirley Webber never imagined they had a
    grandson who lives in Concord with a family of his own, but because of a new
    law that makes it easier for adopted children to find their birth parents,
    Trefethen and Webber are happy to announce their family is bigger than they
    Trefethen and Webber’s daughter, Pamela, gave birth to a son in September
    1971. Because she was still a teen, Pamela decided to give the child to a
    "family that was better prepared than she to care and provide for him," said
    Trefethen in a letter to the Portsmouth Herald.

    Two weeks ago, Trefethen received a letter from Jonathan Bourgeois, explaining
    that he had recently learned the name of his birth mother, Pamela Denise
    Trefethen-Gillenbrand, and that she had died last August from pancreatic
    cancer. Bourgeois asked to meet with Trefethen, in hopes of learning more about

    Trefethen immediately called Bourgeois, and the two agreed to meet. Trefethen,
    now remarried, contacted his former wife, Webber, and told her the good news.

    "My heart was pounding," said Trefethen about meeting his grandson.

    "I was trying to see if there was any resemblance. He has (Pamela’s) smile
    and a dimple here," said Webber, pointing to her chin. "I’m only sad Pammy
    couldn’t see him."

    During their first meeting, Trefethen and Webber learned about their grandson
    and his upbringing, how he loves playing the piano and working with computers.

    "He was so outgoing; (it was) just like we always knew him. I was kind of
    tongue-tied," said Webber.

    "He’s been looking forward to this for years," said Trefethen, adding that
    Bourgeois told him he had always known he was adopted.

    Trefethen said he was surprised to learn that his grandson has visited the
    paintball course in Eliot many times, just a few miles from the Trefethens’

    "He was all around us and we never knew," said Trefethen.

    As of Jan. 1, adults in New Hampshire who were adopted as children now have the
    same access to their original birth records as nonadopted children. For a $12
    nonrefundable fee and with a photocopy of a picture ID, adults may get an
    unofficial copy of their original birth certificate.

    Bourgeois took advantage of the new law as soon as he could and went to the
    records office in Concord on Jan. 3 to file for his birth certificate.

    Although the state has given a waiting period up to six weeks, Bourgeois knew
    the name of his birth mother in about 20 minutes, according to Webber.

    Both parents are thankful to the New Hampshire Legislature for the new law and
    the opportunity to meet their grandson.

    "I just hope that other states will do this," said Webber.

    A good friend will come and bail you out of jail . . . but, a true friend will
    be sitting next to you saying, "**** . . . that was fun!"