Our expert says:
That sounds like your "adoptive" mother handled this about as badly as it is humanly possible to do. Let's see what other readers can suggest as to ways of checking on the facts. The problem ma be when you say "informally" adopted --- so there would presumably be no paperwork or official records of the adoption. Nomatter what the truth about your mom may be, the adoption was improper and illegal, and what you were told about her may be true or lies. Apparently your "adoptive" mother feels guilty enough about whatever happened to be covering up the truth and getting angry when you ask, though you have every right to do so.
Presumably when you were born the births should have been registered and a birth certificate registered --- but you'd need to be certain of your date of birth and actual name at birth, and where this occurred, to have much chance of looking that up. Do you have an ID or passport ? Presumably if so, there should have been copies provided to Home Affairs of your birth certificate. But I don't know if they could trace that far back, as they seem to get lost with applications received a month ago.
Were you christened in a church ? There might be some records of that, there.
You refer to your "late" sister --- if she died, there should have been a death certificate, which should have carried date of birth, etc. Or did Mom do that informally too ? That would have been criminal, so probably not.
The central problem seems to be that she doesn't want to tell you, and that you may have nothing to go on if you try to find out on your own. You could inqure at local adoption agencies ( or at agencies wherver you were as an infant. It may be wise to consult a lawyer about whether you have any rights, maybe to complain about the "informal" adoption leaving you no normal route to trace your parents as is your right.
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