02/26/2013 11:29 am ET

Adoptee: Finding Birth Family Gave Me Sense Of Belonging

For many adopted children, learning who their birth parents are can be a controversial subject. Some don't want to know, while others better understand their own identity upon meeting their biological family. Adoptee Leigh Reposa found a sense of belonging when she discovered her birth family, who happened to live just 8 miles from where she grew up.

Reposa, 36, knew from birth that she was adopted, and explained how finding her biological parents helped her fill a void in her life. "[I was] always kind of searching for that connection. And it wasn't until I was 31 and I actually made that connection with my birth family that I kind of felt that closure and it kind of all came together," she told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani in a segment on HuffPost Live.

Finding her birth family also helped Reposa understand more about her personality, and even her cooking skills.

"I grew up in a family where cooking was very basic, but I could always just, you know, cook," she said. "I never had to look at a recipe and I always kind of wondered where that came from. And I truly believe to this day that came from my connection with my birth family because they're all amazing cooks and no one uses a recipe and we just kind of put things together."

Joining Reposa and Modarressy-Tehrani in the conversation were Jane Aronson, founder and CEO of Worldwide Orphans, and Nick Ippolito, a deputy with the County of Los Angeles' Safe Surrender program.

Watch the full segment on HuffPost Live.