A Look at Joni Mitchell’s Reunion with Her Daughter
Joni Mitchell went from rags to riches, when she scaled the heights of stardom. Sadly for her, the stardom came a little too late.
At one point in her life, Mitchell was so financially weak that she gave her daughter up for adoption because she could not provide for her infant.
But Mitchell didn't stop looking, and neither did her daughter Kilauren Gibb, and they finally found their way back to one another after 32 years apart.
Joni Mitchell Gave Daughter Up
As per Cheatsheet, Mitchell gave birth to her daughter in 1965 — a different era altogether. Back then, unmarried mothers were fairly uncommon.
When she asked the father of her child to marry her, he refused.
Joni Mitchell on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' circa 1995 (Source: Instagram)
She had yet to launch herself as a musician. She did not have the means to raise and provide for her daughter.
Soon after I'd given up my daughter for adoption I had a house and a car and I had the means and I'd become a public figure.
She'd tried searching for her kid for years to come, but eventually, the trail went close.
When a childhood friend sold her secret childbirth to the press, it made for plenty of headlines, and that was it.
Kilauren Gibb's Search for Her Mother
On the other side of the fence, Gibb admitted to the Toronto Sun (via Joni Mitchell's website) that she would often ask her adoptive mother why she didn't have photos from around the time she was born.
The Gibbs — David and Ida Gibb, two Toronto teachers — had to feed her with a few explanations to keep the adoption a secret.
Gibb only found out that she was adopted when she was 27 years old, and the quest to find her biological parents started.
Thankfully, her adoptive parents left her a lead to follow: Children's Aid Society. So, she reached out.
But then again, it would take the institution five years to give Gibb the file she requested, and that too didn't have the name of her birth mother, only a description.
Her mother, she learned, was born in Saskatchewan, the only child of parents of Norwegian-Scottish descent. She had polio as a child, met Kilauren's father while both were in art school in Calgary.
The CAS information described her as being a successful Canadian folk singer.
However, Gibb wasn't a fan of the genre that her mother was famed for and couldn't really make the connection on her own.
It was on February 1, 1996, that she came across the article describing how Mitchell was looking for her daughter.
The timeline fit perfectly. Moreover, Gibb saw the resemblance: blue eyes, blonde hair, long legs, and high cheekbones.
She made the call to Mitchell's agent in the hopes that she would get to see her mother in time for her birthday on February 19. Turns out, she wasn't the only "daughter" that was calling. The agency had to screen all the claims.
One day, Gibbs came home to find a message from her mother on the answering machine. It read: "Hi, it's Joni. Please call me. I'm here. I'm overwhelmed."
Finally, the mother-daughter duo reunited after 32 whole years on March 13, 1997.