Believes birth parents were from Luling
In the summer of 1973, a baby boy was born to a 14 year-old girl at West Jefferson Medical Center in Gretna.
Baby Glaze, as he was known then, was two months premature and had to spend five weeks in an incubator before he was adopted by a Metairie couple who named him Sean Flanagan.
Flanagan grew up in Metairie and Kenner and went to Our Lady of Divine Providence and Rummel High School before dropping out, getting his GED and moving to Tigard, Ore.
Now a 40-year-old with two college age children of his own, Flanagan still lives in Oregon where he manages a resort. For years he has been trying to track down his birth mother and father and his search is now centered on St. Charles Parish.
“I’ve been searching for them since I was 18 looking through the adoption databases and whatnot,” he said.
Flanagan said it is his understanding that his mother wanted to keep him, but her parents talked her into putting him up for adoption.
“She wanted to keep me initially, but her parents talked her out of it. It was a closed adoption so my birth certificate is blank where my parents’ names should be,” he said. “All I know is that my birth father worked or lived in Luling and that is where he signed the papers so I would imagine that is where my birth mother was from as well.”
Flanagan said he just wants to know more about his origins.
“It’s just curiosity for the most part. What are my roots? Where am I from? What is my nationality? What is the reason behind my mother wanting me and then having her parents talk her into giving me up?” he said.
So far Flanagan has tracked down his birth mother’s attorney, Nel Vezina, who is now retired and was the one who transported him from the hospital to his adoptive parents after the adoption was finalized.
“He said it was so long ago he couldn’t remember,” Flanagan said.
Flanagan also found the name and address of Dr. Robert Guy, the doctor who delivered him and is also retired.
“I told him my situation and told him that he delivered me. He said that he is in his 70s and he has no recollection,” he said. “I was born right when he first started practicing medicine and he delivered hundreds of babies over all of those years.”
After coming to a dead end with people who actually handled him while he was still in his birth mother’s custody, Flanagan turned to the court system where he was able to track down the court order both of his birth parents signed to transfer custody to his adoptive parents.
“I called Jefferson Parish courts and they were looking at my records and said ‘good luck, we can’t share your records because they are sealed,’” he said.
Undeterred, Flanagan pushed the issue with the court system asking them to unseal the records to see if his mother had any known health issues that he may have inherited.
“They did open them up for medical purposes, but the only thing they could tell me is that my mother did not have any health problems and that was it,” he said.
After tracing all possible leads that could reunite him with his birth parents, Flanagan decided to turn to the Internet to get his message out to as many people as possible.
He wrote in marker on a large neon green poster board “Help me find my birth parents. D.O.B. 6-29-1973. In Gretna, LA. Please share with everyone you know.”
He took a photo of himself holding the poster board and uploaded it to Facebook where it was shared more than 10,000 times. He also posted a photo of himself with his two children and information on his search on Craigslist with the hope that someone who knew about his parents’ situation all those years ago would contact him.
Flanagan said since the information spread he has heard from around 100 people in the area – most who have encouraged him to keep up his search and a few who think they may be related to him.
“I had a couple of people talk to me and get my hopes up and say ‘you may be my brother,’” he said. “But then they can’t talk about it any further because it is a family secret. So there is a good chance that there is a sibling or a cousin that is keeping it hush, hush.”
Given the circumstances of his birth, Flanagan thinks someone in St. Charles Parish must know at least one of his parents.
“When I was born in Luling there were only about 2,000 or 3,000 people,” he said. “It’s one of those things. If my mother was in school the summer before 8th grade and she was pregnant it must have been noticeable that she was pregnant. And the guy who got her pregnant must have told some people that he got her pregnant.”
Despite his exhaustive search for his birth parents, Flanagan only wants to know more about who he is and where he came from.
“I think it would be neat,” he said. “I don’t want to replace my adoptive parents. They’ve been there with me since I was 5 weeks old.”
Now, 22 years after his search began, Flanagan said he is still hopeful that he will be able to find the answers to the most basic questions about his origins.
“I’ve been working on it for quite some time and it would be nice to know,” he said. “I am not getting any younger.”
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