Jay Saltzman became “a little emotional” when he arrived in Pittsburgh last week, the first time he has been back in 53 years.
Saltzman, 53, knows he was born in Pittsburgh, but not at which hospital.
He knows his birth mother’s name, but he does not know where she is now, or even if she is still alive.
He knows that his adoptive parents picked him up here and took him to Brooklyn when he was 3 days old, but he does not know the name of his birth father.
He knows that he was born a Jew.
After three years of searching genealogical records online, and making random phone calls from their home in San Antonio to Pittsburghers with the same surname as his birth mother, Saltzman and his wife, Carmen, decided to finally come out here for a few days to see what answers they could find.
They searched records all over town, including Magee-Womens Hospital, Orphan’s Court, the City County Building, and Rodef Shalom Congregation, and eventually found their way to the offices of the Chronicle, to inquire about placing an ad.
They have searched hospital records, marriage records, and old city directories and telephone books.
So far, they have no leads.
Saltzman, a police officer serving on the San Antonio police force, was adopted in June 1960, by Joyce and Irving Saltzman, who told him that his birth mother “desired to give her child to someone of the Jewish faith,” he said.
And, in fact, he was.
Saltzman was raised a Conservative Jew, and, in turn, he and Carmen are members of a Conservative congregation in San Antonio where their son and daughter have celebrated becoming b’nai mitva.
It is for the well being of his children that Saltzman is now seeking information on his birth mother, whose initials are “E.F.”
“I’m looking for her for health care reasons for my two children,” he said. “And I would like to know if I have any brothers and sisters.”
Saltzman’s adoptive parents have not been able to provide much information to help him on his search, not even remembering the hospital from where they claimed him.
“But we are requesting medical release forms,” Carmen Saltzman said. “We should know in a couple weeks if he was born in any of these hospitals.”
Jay Saltzman, who served in the U.S. Army before he became a police officer, said that his line of work has trained him to “not be shy” with people, a trait which he is employing in his search for his birth mother.
“I’m asking everyone I see if they have information,” he said. “I’m even asking people sitting in cars next to me.”
He had planned to leave Pittsburgh after five days for a bit of leisure travel while up north, he said, but will continue his quest to finds his roots until he finally locates information on his birth mother.
“I will come up here again to do more research if I need to,” he said.
Want to Help?
Anyone who may have information on E.F., who gave birth to a son on June 23, 1960, can contact Carmen Saltzman at 210-260-9072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Toby Tabachnick can be reached at email@example.com.)