Clara Jobs

A Personal View: Adoption and Steve Jobs

The coils of human relationships oscillate in strange ways, as illustrated by the adoption of Steve Jobs. As the adoptive father of two children, I can attest to the questions and emotions that accumulate over time and generations.

Jobs was adopted shortly after birth by Paul and Clara Jobs, who lived in Mountain View, California. They named him.

Steve Job's biological mother was Joanne Simpson who had dated and become impregnated by Addulfattah John Jandall, a Syrian immigrant. Jandall proposed marriage to Simpson, but her father objected because of Jandall's Syrian ancestry. Simpson went to San Francisco in 1955 without Jandall's knowledge to give birth and hand her newborn son over for adoption. Simpson's father died shortly afterward and she reunited with Jandall, but by then the adoption was final.

Years passed until Jandall, who is now 80 years old and vice president of Boomtown Casino and Hotel in Reno, Nevada, learned Steve Jobs was his biological son.

When Jobs resigned and it became apparent his cancer was terminal, news about Jandall surfaced. He expressed regret for not being part of Jobs' life, noting that the two of them never met in person, but only exchanged a couple of emails.

“I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t sadden me to have not been part of my son’s incredible journey,” Jandall said in an interview last August. "Now I just live in hope that, before it is too late, he will reach out to me, because even to have just one coffee with him would make me a very happy man." That never happened.