Journey of hope: Thai-American woman seeks long-lost Thai mother

Janny and her Swiss parents | Photo via The Isaan Record

A half Thai half American woman reached out to the Thai media in a bid to reunite her with her long-lost mum who is believed to live in the Isaan province of Ubon Ratchathani.

The 53 year old Thai-American woman, identified only as Janny, told her story to The Isaan Record, in the hope that someone knows her Thai mother or can provide more information about the mother she has never met.

Janny explained that she was adopted by a Thai woman when she was a baby, and later by a Swiss family in Bangkok. She moved to live with her family in Switzerland when she was 14.

Janny learned that she was adopted before she moved, and added that she had no problem with this because the family treated her the same as her siblings. However, the truth led Janny to search for her biological mother.

Janny said that she and her Swiss family had never visited her adoptive mother. Her Swiss parents admitted that they were afraid of losing her because many Thai families wanted their children back, so her folks decided to block all contact with her adoptive mother.

The adoption document did not contain many details to trace her mother, said Janny.

“I always wanted to know about my mother. I always imagined her in my head. I will find a Thai mother, and she will tell me who my father is. I kept dreaming.”

American father

Janny went on to explain that she took a DNA test and checked the Ancestry website. She could not find her Thai mother but she did find her American father. She wrote to him in the hope that he could give her mother’s name.

The American father, identified as Chuck, was among approximately 50,000 American soldiers deployed to Thailand during the Vietnam War. Chuck served at U-Tapao Air Base in the eastern province of Rayong, where he crossed paths with Janny’s mother, employed as a waitress in a noodle shop nearby.

During the war, some soldiers formed intimate relationships with Thai women residing in the vicinity of their camp. Following the conflict, some chose to remain in Thailand, while others returned to the United States. Regrettably, some were unaware that they had left children behind.

Tragically, Chuck confessed to being unaware of having a daughter with the Thai woman, as he was pressed to return to the US promptly as per orders. He lacked knowledge of her name or her home province.

Despite this shocking revelation, Janny persevered with hope. Last year, she ventured to Thailand and visited the noodle shop where her mother had worked but her efforts proved fruitless. Many individuals who may have known her mother’s story had passed away while others had relocated.

Some information pointed out that her mother was from Ubon Ratchathani province in northeastern Thailand. So, she decided to contact The Isaan Record to tell her story to people in Isaan who might know her mother.

“I will tell her that I am fine and I will tell her what happened to me. I have a good life and everything is going well. I am not angry with my mother. It is hard to say what I would say to her when we meet. I cannot guess the feelings when we met.”

American woman

In April of last year, an American singer and songwriter, Kristy Sinsara Hudsud, also sought assistance from Thai government departments and news agencies to help her find her Thai mother who was believed to live in Ubon Ratchathani.

According to updates on Kristy’s Facebook account, she was finally reunited with her Thai family and met her aunt, the only living sibling of her deceased Thai mother, in Ubon Ratchathani province.

Journey of hope: Thai-American woman seeks long-lost Thai mother | News by Thaiger
Janny was adopted when she was a baby | Photo via The Isaan Record


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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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