During the first part of the Maximum Ride series, the Flock tries to find their parents. Only two of the members—Max and Iggy—managed to find theirs, though, and Max is the only one to love hers. They originally believed that they were all created in test tubes, but it seems that at least some of them, such as Iggy, Gazzy, and Nudge, were modified after they were born.
The files indicated that they were all born around Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. However, the files were suspiciously scrambled and often led to dead ends. In Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, Jeb implies that all of this information - everything the Flock knew about their parents - could have been staged by the School.
Max's Parents Edit
The Director Edit
Marian Janssen, director of Itex, considered herself to be Max's mother. They strongly resembled each other. However, although she helped design Max, they are not related.
Dr. Martinez Edit
In The Angel Experiment, Max, Fang, and Nudge are flying to the School to save Angel when Max sees a girl down below being threatened by a group of bullies. She flies down to save her; the girl—whose name is Ella—manages to escape, but Max is shot. Her left shoulder was grazed by the bullet, and one of the bones in her left wing was nicked, so she couldn't fly away.
Max manages to find her way to Ella's house, and is let in almost immediately. From there, she meets Dr. Martinez, a vet who is also Ella's mother, and is given treatment.
Max stays with them for the next few days; during that time, she learns how to make homemade chocolate chip cookies from scratch, and also learns of a microchip in her arm, both courtesy of Dr. Martinez. However, the time comes when she must leave; saddened by her belief that she'll never see them again, but determined to get back to the flock and rescue Angel, she says her goodbyes and flies off.
Fortunately, this isn't the last time they meet—in Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, she meets them again. In the same book, Jeb Batchelder reveals that Dr. Martinez was an influential avian geneticist who donated the egg that became Max, making her Max's biological mother, and Ella her half-sister. However, after the School had a viable embryo, they cut all ties with Dr. Martinez.
Jeb Batchelder Edit
Four years before the start of The Angel Experiment, Jeb had smuggled the Flock out of the School and raised them in a house in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Two years before the start, he'd disappeared, and the entire Flock believed him to be dead.
He reappears in The Angel Experiment, appearing to be sided with the School.
In Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, he meets with Max while she and her mini-Flock are in Germany. He reveals that he donated some of his chromosomes to be paired with Dr. Martinez's egg, making him Max's biological father, and his son Ari her half-brother.
Fang's Parents Edit
In The Angel Experiment, Angel, while telling the Flock what she'd learned about their origins, explains to Fang that his mother was a teenager who was told that he had died. His father is unknown. Fang is unhappy with this information and says that his mother was probably a crack addict.
While at the Institute, Fang finds a photo of a man and woman in their thirties, who look a lot like him. Nudge says that they must be his parents. However, in School’s Out – Forever, Max says that Fang’s mother was a teenager who gave him up for adoption. When they try to track down her address, they find a barbershop instead.
Nudge's Parents Edit
Nudge was the first member of the Flock to look into her past and one of the few to know her birth name. Before leaving to find Angel in The Angel Experiment, she looked through Jeb’s old files and found some on herself, with a list of names and an address in Tipisco, Arizona. When she and Fang track down the address, 4625 Chaparral Court, it turns out to be a mobile home in a run-down trailer park. They see an African-American woman with her hair in curlers, smoking a cigarette and drinking soda. Nudge considers the possibility that this is her mother. However, before she can approach, Erasers attack and the two birdkids are forced to fly away.
Angel later explains that Nudge’s parents had been told she was dead.
In School’s Out – Forever, while exploring Itex, Nudge finds files on herself as well as a video clip of her parents two days after her abduction. Both are visibly upset and pleading for their child back. There are also medical forms authorizing Roland ter Borcht to “treat” the baby, but it’s implied that Jeb forged Nudge's parents' signatures. Another photo of her mother, some years older, was stamped “Terminated."
Iggy's Parents Edit
In The Angel Experiment, it is said first that Iggy's mother died in childbirth while his father is alive, and later that his father is deceased and his mother is alive.
In School's Out - Forever, Max overhears a news report while walking to her room in Anne Walker's home. The reporter is talking about how "the recent disappearance of several area children has brought back difficult memories for other parents who have lost children, whether recently or years ago." The reporter is interviewing two people: Tom Griffiths and his wife, "whose only son was taken from a local hospital right after his birth."
Remembering from a file the Flock found in the Institute that Iggy's last name was Griffiths, Max and Fang decide to do some searching. Posing as sellers for Wall Street Journal subscriptions, they manage to locate the Griffiths couple in a suburban house near DC.
After Thanksgiving dinner at Anne's, the Flock takes Iggy to the house. Thanks to a birthmark near his back, the Griffiths couple is able to confirm that he is their son, James. They say that he will stay with them, since they've finally found him.
However, Iggy comes back to the Flock within a short period of time after learning that his parents wanted nothing more than to turn him into a sideshow freak.
Gazzy & Angel's Parents Edit
In The Angel Experiment, Angel says that their parents supported the School's experiments and willingly sold their children. Despite his anger, Gazzy says that he forgives them after he finds a photo of them upon breaking into the Institute. The photo reveals a couple who bear a resemblance to Gazzy and Angel. Their address is 167 Cortlandt Avenue.
In School’s Out – Forever, Max and Fang try to find the house, but their list of addresses keeps leading to dead ends. One of the addresses leads to a crackhouse, where they find a photo of an infant Gazzy and his mother inside a closet. Oddly enough, Dr. Martinez also has a copy of the photo.
In Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, Gazzy is shown a version of the photo which reveals that his mother sold him to the School for $10,000. In the photo, he seems to be a few months old. It’s clear that the family is very poor, and his mother looks “tired and washed out.” The same thing most likely happened to Angel.
Other Books Edit
- In When the Wind Blows, the Flock were altered as embryos when their mothers visited doctors who secretly worked for the School. The parents believed that their children had died when they were born, but were joyfully reunited with them at the end of the book. In the sequel, however, the Flock missed each other and didn't feel comfortable with their biological parents.
- Art and Teresa "Terry" Marshall were the parents of Max and her brother Matthew.
- Anthea and Mike Taranto were the parents of Ozymandias, the character closest to Fang; Mike died before they could meet.
- Joe and Anne Chen are the parents of Peter and Wendy, who resemble Gazzy and Angel.
- The parents of Iggy's analogue, Icarus, are Mr. and Mrs. Stern.
- Eventually the Flock was adopted by Kit, an FBI agent, and Frannie, a veterinarian whose role was similar to Dr. Martinez.