mother and daughter embracing
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
April 24, 2023 ·  4 min read

After Closed Adoption, Woman Finds Her Birth Mother in an Emotional Reunion

No matter the condition of a female, or her age, when she becomes pregnant, she instantly becomes a parent—forced right away to start making decisions for the benefit of another soul. Some are haunted by their choices, while others are confident that their decision will ultimately be the best for their little ones. Regardless, a birth mother never stops thinking about, wishing the best for, or loving a biological child.

Finding Her Birth Mother Goes Viral

Proof of that can be seen in a TikTok video that was shared in March of 2023. The now viral video shows the love between a woman and her birth mother, in an emotional reunion. Rachel Ruiz, now 34 years old meets her birth mother, despite the closed adoption arrangements. The video with around 4 million views has been captioned, “I finally reunited with my birth mom after 34 years! My adoption was closed, and I’ve been trying to find her for over 10 years with failed attempt after failed attempt.”

@rachelhruiz I finally reunited with my birth mom after 34 years! My adoption was closed and I’ve been trying to find her for over 10 years with failed attempt after failed attempt. Thank you @ancestry for being a huge reason why this was able to happen. #adoption #birthmomreunion #adoptionreunion #birthmom #adoptionsucess #closedadoption #ancestrydna #love ♬ Unstoppable (I put my armor on, show you how strong I am) – Sia

Family Support

The heartwarming video shows a nervous Ruiz open the front door and immediately embrace her birth mother, Angie Howard. Angie, her husband Teddy, and adoptive parents Brent and Marianne Haslam are all there for the emotional moments. Furthermore, Rachel is also accompanied by her supportive husband Felix and their adorable 2-year-old Enzo.

Community Support

Unsurprisingly and evidently, followers were swept up and taken over by emotion as they witnessed the video, seeing such a deep love after 34 of Rachel’s separation from her birth mother. “You can tell she never stopped loving or thinking about you for a second,” one commenter wrote.

Another sharing, “The way your moms hugged each other … you could feel the gratitude they had for each other,” another person wrote.

Meanwhile someone else said, “This is absolutely beautiful.” The freelance photographer from Lehi, Utah disclosed that she was adopted at just 2 weeks old. Her birth mother at the time was just 17 years old and far from prepared to be a mother. She had a tough choice to make but ultimately, made one that set Rachel up for a life of love, support, and happiness. It’s evident in the way her adoptive mother and birth mother embrace.

Determined to Meet

Rachel also discloses that she was never unaware of the situation with her birth mother. “My parents were open about telling me from a young age that I was adopted, so it wasn’t a secret and I never felt as though I wasn’t their daughter,” she explained. Although she felt at home, she always felt an urge to meet her birth mother, or at least get to know something about her. Unfortunately, this would prove tricky because the closed adoption terms typically include not disclosing information about the birth mother, or father.

The only information Rachel Ruiz had to go off of, what a brief physical description of her birth mother, her education level, and some hobbies she’d had at the time. However, when Ruiz turned 18, her adoptive parents shared 2 with her a knitted blanket and a letter from her birth mother. In the letter, Ruiz was surprised to find, an expression of desire to one day reunite.

Finding Her Birth Mother

The process of seeking out her birth mother was long and arduous, resulting from the privacy stipulations of the closed adoption. The first step for Ruiz was to reach out to the adoption agency responsible for her case. Tragically and unsurprisingly, very little information came about from this step. On the other hand, the bit of new information could prove to be invaluable.

She discovered her birth mother’s maiden name, Deveraux. It had been covered with white out but was still visible if she squinted. Although the discovery became a dead end, in 2014, Rachel would again discover an avenue to help her find answers. She took a DNA test on and the results led her to a maternal grandfather. Sadly, he’d since passed away and Rachel was never able to connect with him. Alternatively, she did eventually come across his obituary, listing her birth mother Angie as a “surviving relative.”

From there, Ruiz contacted her birth mother on Facebook stating, “I sent her a Facebook message that basically said, ‘Hey, I believe we are related after looking at my adoption papers and my DNA test.'”

Quick Response

Although Angie Howard didn’t see her daughter’s messages until Christmas Day, she wasted no time in responding. “She wrote, ‘I think you are onto something … I’ve been praying for this day for 34 years and always wished you would show up on my doorstep,’” Ruiz shared.

I wanted to show her that this decision was a good one and that I was happy and healthy,” says Ruiz. “That’s when my parents and I put in the work to find her.”

This heartwarming story between a woman and her birth mother would not have been possible without today’s advancing technology. In contrast, an open adoption makes the process undoubtedly easier. Each family has to decide what’s best for them. However, few birth mothers put their babies up for adoption, and don’t want, at the very least, peace of mind. The comfort of knowing they made the best decision for their new baby.

Keep Reading: ‘I just cried holding her’: Couple welcomes baby girl after 5-year adoption journey