The Story of My Search
Hi, this is Paul, and I'd like to welcome you to my new website. I'm hoping this site will be a meeting place for everyone who has been following my case for the past several years, and for everyone who is on the same journey as me—the journey to discover their identity.
Firstly, a big thank you to all of you who have been so supportive and so encouraging as I've set out to find the truth of my family history. I can't even describe how meaningful and important your support has been, especially during the darkest moments of my search. Your good wishes and kind words have kept me going and helped me get closer and closer to the truth.
For those of you who are new to my story, here is a quick summary: way back in 1964, in a Chicago hospital, a newborn infant was taken from his mother's arms by a kidnapper disguised as a nurse. The largest manhunt in Chicago history failed to find either the woman or the missing child, and eventually the case went cold. Then, in 1966, a boy was found abandoned in a stroller outside a department store in Newark, New Jersey. A police officer played a hunch and had the parents of the kidnapped child, Chester and Dora Fronczak, to come to New Jersey to see if they boy might be their missing son. When Dora first saw the boy in a conference room, she said, "That's my baby!" Authorities gave the boy to the Fronczaks, who raised him as their son, Paul Joseph.
I was the boy abandoned outside that department store, and the boy raised by the Fronczaks as their son.
Yet for most of my life I had a strange feeling that I wasn't who everyone thought I was. A few years ago, I decided to finally take a DNA test to prove once and for all if I was, indeed, the infamous Baby Fronczak. The test proved conclusively that I wasn't. In an instant, I became a man without a name or a birthday or a family history. The technical definition for me when I was abandoned was "foundling": an infant given up by its parents and raised by others. But as an adult, the proper term was "unidentified living person." That made it sound like I was some kind of alien from space.
The test results were a shock to me, and to the Fronczaks, who I will always consider my parents. But, despite their protests, I set out to find out who I really am. There were a million setbacks and some very desperate times, but in the end, after many years of searching and hoping and hitting dead ends, I finally was able to learn my true identity. I tell the story of that amazing journey in my new book, The Foundling. I poured my heart into the book because I believe that it was my duty to share my story, in the hopes that it might inspire other people in my circumstances to keep fighting to find their own truths, their own identities, their own families—to find their place in the world.
Today there are around 500,000 children living in foster care, and each week some 40,000 new infants enter the system. There are also many thousands of adoptees who yearn to find their biological parents. My heart breaks for anyone who feels lost in the world or who feels something in missing in their lives, because of their difficult family histories. My goal in life is to be able to help as many of these people as I possibly can to find the peace and comfort that the truth can sometimes bring.
There are also two remaining mysteries that I am on a mission to solve, and I cannot rest until I solve them. I am hoping that by sharing my story with the world, and continually creating a dialogue on this site, I will find someone who can help me solve these mysteries, or at least help me make progress. So I am asking anyone with any information about my case to please step forward and share your ideas and insights with me. There is no tip or lead that is too small, because there is no way of knowing which clue will begin to unravel the case.
Please keep checking back as I update you on my progress in the case, make specific requests and share meaningful leads. And thank you, once again, for all of your amazing support and encouragement. I will keep sharing my story as long as there are people out there who feel lost or alienated or incomplete, because I know what it's like to go through life with those feelings. Together, I hope we can all get closer to the truth of who we are and where we fit in.
Thanks so much.