MATCHED is the story of my nine-month search for a woman who would give us her baby, and how the journeys—the one I knew I was on, and the one that blindsided me—changed our lives forever.

“You’ll find your own birth mom,” our lawyer said. “That’s just how it’s done now.”

We advertised ourselves across the country as hopeful adoptive parents, fielding and vetting birth moms by phone. The first to contact us—there would be eight in all—had been raped by two men. Ashamed and depressed, she’d spent the last few months of her pregnancy drinking and doing coke. Did we want to adopt her baby, she asked?

Tara, a birth mom from Vegas who saw our ad on Craigslist, asked: “How do you know you’ll love your adopted baby as much as you love your biological kids?” I told her I just knew. But honest honest? I wasn’t sure.

We tried posting our flyer at women’s shelters. One director was enthusiastic; they specialized in housing victims of human trafficking. Would we have a problem adopting a baby born of prostitution? I didn’t think I would, but what about Pete?

We got the call on New Year’s Day, 2014: a birth mom had chosen us; we’d been matched. But after my son was home, my birth mom search wasn’t over. I decided it was time to find the woman who had given birth to me.


Praise for 


“Slashing sentimental fantasies, Massar pulls back the curtain on the world of open adoption, exposing its grittiness and prejudices, as well as its beauty. Smart, funny, and real, Massar brings the reader in close with her intimate portrait of a complicated yet compassionate journey.”

-New York Times bestselling memoirist Jillian Lauren:      Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and Everything You Ever Wanted

“Candid and moving, witty and fierce, MATCHED is addictive reading.”

Ben Barnz, Producer on the movie, CAKE, with Jennifer Aniston


Denise Massar

Denise Massar © Copyright 2021