Looking for my Birth Family

Posted by Rita M. Connizzo on 09/13/00 at 1:21 PM
Subject: Looking for my Birth Family

My name is Rita Connizzo. I was born in Chieti, Italy (S.S. Annunziata) on January 18, 1955. My name at that time was Rita Mammetti. I know that because that was the name on my passport. Another name that comes up on my documents is Mammarella. I canít be sure, because I was adopted to the United States when I was two years old. I do not have a memory of Italy. I was adopted to a loving family through the Catholic Committee for Refugees.
I still have my passport, which has the only known picture of me from Italy.

Today, I am married and have two children of my own. A boy who is 15 and a girl who is 13. My son was named for my adoptive father and my daughter was named for me. To this day, every time I go to a doctor, or bring my children to a doctor, I am asked for a family medical history. I cannot supply that information because I have no family history. I have asked the Catholic Church to release my medical records to me but they refuse saying only that all adoption records are closed and confidential. When my son was born, he almost died from a lung complication, which may have been avoided if I had a family history. Although his birth had several complications, he is healthy today.

I have asked the Italian Government for assistance, the Catholic Church, The US Court System and I have even asked local residents of Chieti to help. Last year, I wrote to every Mammetti listed in the Rome area telephone book, which included Chieti and the surrounding area. Several people wrote back, and though they extended to me every courtesy that they could, no one had any answers for me. No one could obtain any answers for me.

All that I know for certain is my birthday, on January 18th, 1955. I was baptized on January 26th, 1955 (both birth and Baptism were at S.S. Annunzita) and I was placed in an orphanage on January 26th, 1955. The orphanage was the Institute Provinciale Assistenza Infanzia of Chieti. That orphanage is now closed. I remained there for almost two years before I was adopted and sent to the United States.

Today, I am looking to open my heart and my arms to any family that I might have still living in Italy. I would like to know them and welcome them into the family that I now have. If my family wants to remain anonymous, I can understand their feeling and only ask that they provide my medical history, if known, through a third party or this television station. Hopefully, they will want to meet me and my family, as I want to meet them.

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