After Being Abandoned In The Street As A Baby, A Woman Got A Long-Awaited Apology From Her Birth Father 30 Years Later

She finally got the answers she was looking for.

woman, abandoned at birth YouTube 

There are roughly 5 million Americans who were adopted at birth. Among these people, there are many who are curious to learn more about their biological families and where they came from. Unfortunately, not all of them will have the opportunity to receive the answers to their many questions. 

One woman who was adopted as an infant was lucky enough to not only find and speak with her biological family but to receive a long-awaited apology from her birth father. 


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The woman was abandoned in the street 30 years ago as a baby. 

In the early hours of January 11, 1992, a woman living at the Riviera Parkway Apartments in Jacksonville, Florida was shocked to discover a newborn baby girl on her doorstep. The baby, who was only four hours old when she was found, was given to police after the woman called 911, who named her “Baby Jane Doe.” She was given an official name, Aniya Smith, after she was adopted by a couple living in California just a week later. 


However, Aniya always wondered about her birth family, and wanted them to know about her. “It’s like an empty feeling that you feel,” she told First Coast News in 2021. “You just don't know who you are.” 

For three decades, Aniya attempted to search for her birth family, with the support of her adoptive parents. The journey was anything but easy, with multiple DNA and ancestry tests resulting in dead ends with her birth family failing to contact or search for her themselves.

Finally, the woman was able to get long-awaited answers to her questions with the help of a “search angel,” someone who volunteers online to search for and connect people with their biological family members. One Ancestry DNA test uncovered that Aniya had a half-sister, which ultimately led her to her birth father in Jacksonville. The two were able to speak on the phone, and she was fortunate to gain more than she originally asked for. 

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Her father apologized for abandoning her all those years ago. 

Aniya was grateful to hear her biological father’s response. “I appreciated that moment of just him telling me he was truly and deeply sorry, just explaining his mindset, his thought process at the time,” she says. “That's something I haven't really gotten from my mother, but I can definitely feel that it was something that he had been carrying with him for very long.” 

She was told by her father that no one in her biological family knew of her existence since he and her birth mother had kept the pregnancy a secret. They were only 18 and 19 at the time. 

The phone call with her father also helped her connect with her birth’s mother’s family. Charles Thompson, who Aniya now calls “Uncle Butch,” took a DNA test after learning that he may have a long-lost niece. “Piece by piece. I put the puzzle together. I put the puzzle together to find out Aniya is my great-niece,” Thompson said. 


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Aniya also had the opportunity to finally speak with her birth mother. 

“I remember just sitting on the phone with her and just asking her a million questions about herself,” she says. “I wanted to know the ins and outs about her because I had, you know, just thought about who this person could have been for so long. I just wanted to know everything.” 

Although her birth mother attests that she did not abandon her daughter, something Aniya refuses to believe, she has made peace with her biological parents and now wishes to move forward. “I'd be lying if I said I didn't want a relationship,” she admits. “I want that relationship. I want to be able to visit both sides of my family on holidays. And I just also want a deep relationship with my siblings.” 

Thankfully, Aniya’s great-uncle Tony was able to organize a Zoom call so that she could meet some of her family members virtually. She and her son, Zion, are planning to have an in-person meet-up with all of them sometime in the spring, something both sides are looking forward to. 


“I plan on giving her a 30-year hug. I'm just gonna hold her and tell her that she is loved by all of us here and she is a part of this family,” Tony says. “She is a part of my family,” her uncle Charles adds.  “She is welcomed into this family with open arms, her and her son Zion both, and we love them to death.” 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.