By Chelsea Karnash
WILLIAMSTOWN, NJ (CBS) – Some people use Facebook to network, make new friends or stay in touch with old ones.
Dave Killough is using it to find his birth mother.
Born Jonathan Huckins in a Virginia hospital on September 17, 1967, the 46-year-old from Williamstown was eventually renamed by his adoptive parents, who moved the family to Pennsylvania when he was 11.
Dave says he knew he was adopted from the age of eight, and like many adopted kids, he eventually grew curious about his birth family.
Still, it wasn’t until his 20s that Dave started searching for his mother the traditional way, through the state agency. But she hadn’t left a social security number or identified his father, making the search more complicated.
Furthermore, Dave says that the state agency told him that although they do have his mother’s name, they can’t legally release it to him without her permission to do so. And they can’t find her.
After being repeatedly disappointed, Dave turned to the internet, where he read about a Utah woman who had successfully used social media to find her birth parents.
So he and his daughter sat down at the computer and created a public Facebook page. On a dry erase board, they wrote out a message:
“Please Like & Share. Help me find my birth family! I was born 9-17-67 at Johnson-Willis Hosp. in Richmond, VA. Named Jonathan Huckins. Contact me email@example.com. Thank you!!!”
Dave’s daughter took a picture of her dad with the sign, posted it to Facebook and clicked the ‘share’ button.
That was Saturday night. By Monday morning, the photo had been reposted more than 2,000 times.
“It’s amazing. People I don’t even know are not only taking the time to share [the photo], but they’re writing messages and comments,” Dave says. “The rate of it being shared is accelerating.”
Based on the response so far, “I see exponential growth in my ‘shares,’” he jokes.
And while Dave readily admits it would be “neat” to meet his birth mother, he says he also has practical concerns related to his own family.
“My kids are getting older, and I really want to find out [my birth family’s] medical background,” he explains. “I would like to find anyone I’m related to. But my mother is really the key to it all.”
And if he does find his mom, Dave says he wants to let her know that he isn’t angry about her decision to give him up for adoption – quite the contrary.
“I want to let her know that I’m thankful to her. I’m not angry with her; I appreciate her for giving me life.”
If you would like to help Dave in his search to find his birth mother, visit his Facebook page and “share” the photo.