Looking for her roots


My name is Franziska Lalan Merkel and I am from Konstanz, Germany. I am trying to find out more about my Indian Parsi background. I was born in Bombay on December 14th, 1981 and then given to Shraddhanand Mahila Ashram, Matunga the next day, on 15th of Dec 1981. Not much is known about my biological parents. From the beginning I bear the name Lalan which might as well have been given to me by the sisters in the children’s home or by my birth mother. Four weeks later, on January 15th, 1982 I left to Germany together with my adoptive parents. With them I grew up in the most loving family imaginable. And still I feel very much connected to my Indian roots and my natural parents who should be in all probability from Parsi community as confirmed by the lawyer involved in the adoption court case. I have just finished my PhD in cross-cultural psychology. I am currently in India for a short while and I would be very glad about any hint to trace my origin…

If you know anything about my family of origin please contact me at: fla.me@gmx.de         

Thanks in advance for your help.


  • Who is the confirming lawyer ?

  • All the best! Hope you find your roots.
    why don’t you visit Shraddhanand Mahila Ashram and ask them?

  • Dear Franziska,
    I do not know anything about your roots. To me you are a wonderful person and your roots do not matter. You will still be the same to me. However, since it is important to you, I wish you all the best. I will forward this to all my friends in Bombay and if they do have anything, they should get in touch with you. Regards. Yazdy Palia.

    • Yes, I am aware that roots are not everything and I am grateful for the life I have and always was. Still, thank you very much for your support.

  • all the best hope u wil find ur roots

  • know something? u look a total bawi !!

  • Best wishes in your search. Hope you find your biological family and are able to find the answers you seek.

  • Pervez Dupetawalla

    I do not know why? But am sure U will find your roots!
    From now, I am a part of your search mission!
    I will contact U on your email address very soon!
    Plzzz,,, chk for perrydee77@yahoo.com
    Thank U
    Your new friend

  • Sehr geehrte Franziska,

    ich bin ein deutschsprechnder Parsi. Waere bereit Ihnen zu helfen. Bitte schicken Sie eine Mail an: ysk@airtelmail.in mit eineigen Angabe betrifft die Organisation von wo Sie adoptiert worden sind.


    Yezad Kapadia.

    • As said before, everything I know about it is that it was Shraddhanand Mahila Ashram, Matunga.

  • All the very best.
    But i feel you should not go ahead & find the people who left you approx. 30 years ago in a Ashram to rot.

    • If I were you Franziska, and if I really cared about roots, I would plant my seed here in Mumbai and re-grow the original parsi root..so that tomorrow’s branches and leaves can stand strong with me as their root.

      • What seed are you talking abt Farhad? Shes German looking for her biological parents. Are u ppl insane?

    • Daraious Billimoria

      Delna that is the most INSENSITIVE, hurtful and thoughtless statement! What do you know about the reason this poor child was given up for adoption? What do you know about the circumstances of the poor mother who had to make this sacrifice? Perhaps the very narrow mindedness of our community might have been the reason. Perhaps she was destitute, widowed, abandoned by her husband and/or family. You don’t even know the circumstances that led to her having this child.

      Please educate yourself and read up on the matter…

      Perhaps that will better help you understand what Franziska is going through and what her parent(s) may have had to endure!

      • Hi Daraious, thanks very much for your supporting words and for taking a stand for me… I appreciate that very much. As for me, my whole life I have never felt resentful in any way.

    • Agree with u

  • Mrs. Bakhtawar Pardiwala

    I fully agree with Daraious as regards Delna’s comments. Some compelling reasons must have prompted the mother or whoever to leave you at the Ashram. Atleast your mother did give birth and did not abort the child, and we have our lovely Franziska amongst us. I pray that you find your roots but do not be bitter towards whatever you find. Thank God that you have a good family and you have a lovely life ahead of you. God Bless you.

    • Dear Mrs. Bakhtawar Pardiwala,
      thanks very much for your support and good words… I agree with what you’re saying and am indeed grateful. Life is always a gift.

    • Daraious Billimoria

      Thank you Bakhtawar, my sentiments exactly!

  • Mr. cyrus golvala

    Mr cyrus Golvala
    I am sure you will be able to find your roots.
    looking at your face and particularly the nose part
    I am more then convinced about your having parsee roots.
    Pl. find a good parsee educated boy as your life partner so that your original roots continue.
    Our community is shrinking and we req. to also multiply soon before we vanish.
    Best of luck in your find .

  • Well well well,,,
    Please everybody,,, cut the crap!
    Plzzz,,, do not start the lecturing,,, atleast not over here!
    Please go to facebook and fight!
    Thank U!

  • Daraious Billimoria

    Hi Franziska,

    For some reason I can’t post a reply to your reply.. so I am doing it this way. I am glad you have such a positive attitude, both towards your adopted parents who have loved you and nurtured you, and towards your birth parents. I do hope you succeed and the reunion will be a happy one.

    The Shraddhanand Mahila Ashram is located very close to where I grew up and there is just a remote possibility that your birth mom might have been from Dadar Parsi Colony. The Ashram may have information, but perhaps do not have the liberty to disclose that information to you. But perhaps requesting the Ashram to convey a message on your behalf to your birth mother, giving her your contact information (and perhaps even a personal letter from you), leaving her the option of contacting you might be feasible. Here in Canada, one of our friend’s adopted daughter found her birth mom using that method, and maybe, just maybe that will work for you also.

    In any event, we all wish you the very best in your search and do keep us posted of any progress!

    Bless you,


    • Dear Daraious,

      thanks very much for your reply and for your support! I’m not sure whether the Ashram would convey a message on my behalf to my birth mother… But in order to leave her the option and decision to contact me that is also why I choose this way of making myself traceable for her… Thank you for your goodwishes it is good to know that so many people are bringing in positive vibes.
      With all bestwishes to you also,

  • Pervez Dupetawalla

    Hi, Dear!
    Plzz Chk your email from perrydee77@yahoo.com !
    Reply me back to know that U have received my email!

    Thank U!
    Pervez Dupetawalla

  • Dear Franziska,

    My sincere Prayers to Ahura Mazda, to fulfill your wish and unite you with your biological parents, who in all probability were forced to give you away.

    Now it really should not matter to you, especially because you have loving parents, who have hidden nothing from you and frankly told you about your Zoroastrian Roots in Mumbai.

    It would be wonderful to have you a doting young Parsee lady amongst us.

    Wishing you all the very best in live.

    Veera Patel

    • Dear Veera Patel,
      thanks very much for your lovely words. It is not that I try to find out because I am missing anything… I know that I was blessed with my loving parents – the best God could have given me. And I am aware that my biological mother must have been forced to do this. You know, that is why I’d like to get to know her… Thank you and all the best to you also.

  • Amy Irani Nasik
    franziska,what u have done in life is commendable.You have made all the parsis proud and your parents too who adopted u.I pray that u find
    Your biological parents,if u don’t take it as will of God and carry on with your life and try and achieve more in your life ,get married and raise a family as u would have liked your biological parents to do with u.it might bring you joy n happiness that u deserve.All the best AMY IRANI

    • Dear Amy Irani,

      thank you so much for your warm words… they’ve touched me very much. All bestwishes for you also,


  • Dear friend,
    As you know your date of birth, you can approach the Bombay Municipal Corporation and ask them to give you a birth certificate. If your name has been registered in the Birth Register with your name, Lalan, then you will get it. Otherwise they will say your date of birth has not been registered.
    In INdia, they do not always register the name of the child in the Register. In such cases instead of the name there will be only “Male” or “Female” But the mother’s name, age and address will be registered and also the name of the father as reported by the mother.
    If you draw a blank at the Bombay Municipal Corporation, the next best bet would be to hire a Detective Agency and it is certain they will be able to find out what you wish to know.
    I am in another city, not Mumbai, but where I live, the Corporation Birth Records are available free of cost on-line. In all likelihood. Bombay’s Birth records must be available on-line. Try it first, then go to the Municipal Corpn and finally to a detective agency.

    You should succeed. Good Luck!.
    Manuel Aaron

  • Dear Franziska,

    It is really very touching to read your life story. You only know how it is to feel about the need to be one with your biological parents. Will not the lawyer help you, who is definately aware of at least one of your parents ? I wish you success in your search and shall pray in my daily prayers for you.

    Have faith in GOD. Nothing happens without HIS wish.

    With regards.

    • Dear Godrej,

      thanks very much for your answer and for your good wishes… Unfortunately, the lawyer from that time is no more. But I am happy that I get so much support – even the moral support is worth a fortune and yes, I have faith and I know that whatever is supposed to happen will happen… and what is not will not.
      All bestwishes, it is wonderful to see how many friends there are in the world.

  • Darius Khambatta

    What a load of bunkum…wise guys are deciding whether a person is “parsee” by her “nose & face & God knows what else”. A person is a Zorastrian by his/her beliefs and actions and not by parts of his/her anatomy. If one must help ,then help this person in practical ways like Manuel Aaron has done….not just saintly hotairing.Silly fakesters.And Franziska all u need to do is contact the Mahila Ashram and tell the fellows to dig out the records. If they cant then srry its a dead end and stop wasting ur time…else do what Manuel’s written. Im sure if u had a passport that reads ‘Congo’ or ‘Nigeria’ or ‘Somalia’ or any else god forsaken country these Bawa’s wouldnt be dishing out so much sympathy. Get real.

    • Daraious Billimoria

      Darius Khambatta: I don’t know what motivates you to collectively label us as “fakesters” and racists, but I think that is disgusting. Yes I agree that a few of the comments above are certainly a bit strange, but your comment and the tone you have used certainly places you at the bottom of the pile. The very fact that you mentioned “‘Congo’ or ‘Nigeria’ or ‘Somalia’ as god forsaken countries is indicative of your bias.

      Then there is the “these Bawas” reference. With an obviously non-bawa name like Darius Khambatta, since you do not fit into the category of Parsi or Zarthusti you must have Iranian (Islamic) roots.

      If you take the time to read all the comments above, you will see that a few do indeed offer procedurally helpful suggestions.

      • Darius Khambatta

        Cool down Billi boy before u get a whack on your face, i havent termed anyone racist. Dont make up things from ur braindead imagination. As for the “Democratic republic of Congo” is concerned, yeah, the place really IS God forsaken…take a holiday and go there,see for yourself.Btw dont fall in to the hands of the “revolutionary freedom fighters” over there..they’ll put u in the cooking pot. Have fun,take care.

  • Dear Franziska

    Hope and pray you are able to reconnect with your biological parents. All the best to you in your search. Regards

    • Dear Ruxana,
      Thank you so much for your supporting and kind words…
      All bestwishes,

  • Dhun and Katie Engineer

    Wow I can’t believe what I am reading. Only thing I can do for u is to pray Ahura Mazada to give u guidance and help. Good luck.

  • Dear Franziska,

    I have gone through all the various suggestions made by different people on this forum and find that the suggestion made by Mr. Manuel Aaron is the best and most logical. I hope you have followed his suggestion and contacted the Bombay Municipal Office and / or a Detective Agency. In case you need any assistance do contact me by e-mail or reply back on this forum as I stay in Mumbai itself and would be pleased to help you.

    Wishing you all the best in your search of your biological parents.

    Best regards,


  • Dear Franziska,

    I pray to God that you find your biological parents as soon as possible.
    may God help you in this quest.

  • Dear Franziska,

    After going through your details I pray for you that you find your biological parents, if Loprd Ahura Mazda feels that you should be united then he will really help you out , if he wishes that you should continue your life with your adopted parents accept is as a gift of God and live a happy life and yes if you could find your life partner a Zoroastrian Parsee / Irani please go ahead as our community needs to grow. God Bless You and my best wishes are for you.

    Regards & Best Wishes
    Godrej Mistry

  • Dear Franziska
    May your wish be granted. I wish there was a way to help you more. Will pray for you. God bless, take care,

  • Hi Franziska,
    Are there any legal documents or any other papers etc, to indicate that your parents were both truly Zorastrians? Or are you just going by the verbal information given to you by the lawyer? How can you be so sure your biological parents were Zorastrians? Please do ask your lawyer and the orphanage for more proof before you draw your own conclusions. After that step is overcome, then employ a private detective agency to help you track them down and do the groundwork on your behalf. Hope my suggestions help you. For all practical purposes, you already have your German parents whom im sure you respect and adore. Good luck with your search sweety. By the way, i also know a well known Zorastrian guy in Germany who may be able to help you a lot regarding this issue. Hugs.

  • hi Franziska,

    I am really moved by all the support everyone is showering you on this blog . I was searching information on Shradhanand Mahila Ashram to find out if the details of this trust and their genuineness . Someone has approached me who is in very difficult situation and has no choice but to give up a child for adoption . I have to find a suitable adoption center for such a child. After reading your blog I am assured that Shradhanand Mahila Ashram really is genuine and is doing good work, and somewhere feeling a little emotional with the situation of the person I am helping. I hope and I will pray that this child gets a beautiful home and wonderful parents as yours. If i am successful in helping this child in getting a wonderful home, who know many years down the line this child would be searching for its roots. All the best Franziska for your endeavor.


    • Dear Pooja,

      I am so sorry to hear the story of your friend… What happened to the little child in the meanwhile?? Yes, I have also seen Shradhanand Mahila Ashram before (abt. 12 years back) and I felt it is a loving place and the women are taking very good care of the kids… I really hope that everything went well for the little one and also wish him or her wonderful loving parents.
      Thanks so much for your message Pooja, I’m very sorry for the late reply. I didn’t see your message for long time, somehow missed it.
      Please let me know how it went for the baby…

      All bestwishes,


      • hi Franziska,

        The story of this girl child is very dramatic and yet true… right from the time this baby girl was conceived. The baby’s mother a teenage unmarried mother realized she was pregnant only after 5 and half months of pregnancy and nor did she look pregnant. one can imagine how under nourished the baby must have been. The boy responsible for it ran away after promising a get married to the girl. Thats when I stepped in to help find a adoption center. In the process we came across a couple to who have been married for 12 years and could not have children biologically and were in queue for years at the various adoption centers but no luck. The mother decided to give the baby to them. The couple took the baby however the baby was hospitalized and they returned the bay back to the mother. meanwhile the teenage girl was abandoned by her family as well. While we were decided to put up the child at the adoption center again, the father of the child barely 20 himself came back and took responsibility of the mother and child. Last week after the baby turned 10 months her parents got married. This child has come into this world against all odds makes me wonder that she has a strong destiny that she fought her way into this world. The baby is such a happy child and I hope and pray that she has a healthy life full of love.

  • Dear friends,

    I have started my search several months ago now, but I feel an extra word of thanks is missing on this site. I have received so many mails from you from all over the world expressing your good wishes, offering your help or enclosing me in your prayer… I have tried my best to reply to all of you but in case some of you didn’t receive an answer please forgive and let me know!

    I am so grateful to all of you for your kind and encouraging words, for your warm welcome amongst you and for spreading the word into all regions! Also I especially thank Yazdi Tantra for his altruistic help – who really did his best trying to find information in so many places, even without knowing me personally in advance!

    So far, I have not found my birth parents yet, but as so many of you have said before – it is all God’s wish and I leave it up to the divine… I still believe that if it is meant to be then I will find my biological mom or dad.
    I was overwhelmed by the warmth and love I met with in your community – nearly without exceptions – and I would be happy to keep in touch with you!

    With lots of love and gratefully,

  • Franziska,
    Hello Love, my name is Asha and I too was adopted from Shraddhanand in 1972 I started a search..Hitting dead ends around every corner. I am so very interested in talking with you and exchanging information surrounding the adoption. So many questions. I am in the U.S.A in Colorado and hope your still checking your blog. Please contact at robinsonasha@ymail.com. Don’t get discouraged young one. It’s just a matter of finding different avenues.xo! Sincerely Asha

  • Any update ? I’m dying to knw what happened next as this post is quite old

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