Gaithersburg residents Christine Koubek and Heather Katz

Secret Sons & Daughters: Adoptee Tales (Photo)

Gaithersburg residents Christine Koubek (left) and Heather Katz (right) have launched a new website, Secret Sons & Daughters.  Photo | Angela Buck

Gaithersburg residents Heather Katz and Christine Koubek live on the same street in the beautiful Kentlands community.

Their sons once attended the same private school and they often carpooled together.

Still, it wasn’t until Christine asked to trade carpool days so that she could travel out of town to visit her ailing birth mother that they learned they also shared a secret of sorts. They were both adopted.

The women’s bond has blossomed into an engaging website launched this month and entitled, Secret Sons & Daughters.

“Here we lived on the same short street and attended the same block parties, yet unlike today’s adopted kids who freely share such information, we kept our adoptions quiet,” writes Koubek  on the website.

The Secret Sons & Daughters website features stories called “adoptee tales” because the founders say they are the truths and half-truths told to the sons and daughters given up for adoption in the decades after World War II.

These were the decades, Koubek said, when state laws required that an adoptee’s original identity be hidden and a new identity issued.

In addition to meeting adoptees and learning their stories, you can learn more about sealed records and state laws for access by perusing the “Discover Your Rights” queue on the Secret Sons & Daughters website.

Some of the first posts on the website: “Secrets, Sometimes A Reunion Gives an Adoptee New Secrets,” “An Adoptee’s Portrait in Nature and Nurture,”  “The Philomena Effect,” “Making Sense of Fantasy and Reality,”  “California Adoptee Finds his First Mother,” and “What’s It Like to be a Late Discovery Adoptee.”

According to Koubek, the latter has been one of the most popular posts with almost 700 views to date and the content has sparked many readers to comment.

“While developing the website we watched a wonderful webinar on adoptee grief and loss in which the speaker said ‘what is unmentionable is unmanageable.’ That spoke to exactly what we hope Secret Sons & Daughters can do –help our generation of adoptees make their experiences mentionable, so they can be manageable,” said Koubek. “A birth mother recently commented on our Facebook page on another birth mother’s story. She said: ‘you told our story better than I have ever. I hope my kids save this to explain to our next generation.’ That’s the power of stories. Sometimes the act of writing helps heal the storyteller and sometimes the ability to share someone else’s story helps you to say what you want to say.”

There’s a lot more to experience on this interactive site  – and you are sure to remember the moving and well written stories long after you have left.

Check it out at

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Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.


One Response to “Secret Sons & Daughters: Adoptee Tales (Photo)”

  1. Lindsey Seegers
    On February 21, 2014 at 8:43 am responded with... #

    Thank you so much for highlighting this important, rarely discussed, topic! It was a particularly timely read for me. I am speaking on birthfamily reunions on a panel for the Barker Foundation’s 20th Adoption conference in Rockville tomorrow. Adoption and reunion are more complex than Hollywood ever makes them out to be—and rarely have such happy or clear-cut resolutions. This is new website is a wonderful resource I was excited to discover, and now plan to pass onto my fellow adoptees.

    Lindsey Seegers
    Manna Food Center

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