My name is Helen Riley and I am a late discovery adopted person. I found out I was adopted at the age of 21. This secret and its late discovery had significant implications for my identity prior to disclosure, and significant long-term impacts on my identity, on my relationships, on my ability to trust, on my ability to feel secure about my own value, and to genuinely feel in control of my life.
I have recently concluded PhD research at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, into the ethical implications of this type of secrecy and its late discovery as an adult. This research gathered new accounts from both late discovery adopted people and donor insemination offspring (heterosexual couple use only). It also included a reanalysis of some previously published accounts.
My recently completed thesis appears to be the first high level academic research focused solely on this experience, worldwide. It is also the only research undertaken from an ethical perspective. I want to make this research more generally available and to offer easy access to my other published and non-published works on the subject.