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LETTERS: I wish parents had told truth

Letters: Have your say.

Letters: Have your say.

What a wonderful idea from Sally Buck of Rotherham Council Adoption Team for producing Life’s Story Books, writes Marjorie Neal, Fairbarn Road, Stannington.

Children have a right to know their background and she is to be applauded for the work she is doing on their behalf.

I was eight years old when I found out that I had been adopted at birth.

Some playmates had heard their parents talking and couldn’t wait to tell my younger sister Irene and I what they had found out.

They told us we weren’t really sisters and that both my mother and father were dead.

It was devastating to hear this from them but my gut instinct told me that what they said was right.

I persuaded Irene they were telling lies and would get into trouble if we said anything so I swore her to secrecy and it was never mentioned any more.

I was 13 when the dad who brought me up died in 1932 of wounds from the First World War and it was shortly after that I told my mum that I had known since I was eight that they were not my birth mother and father.

She said my dad didn’t want me to know, but went on to explain that my real father died of TB three months before I was born and that my mother died shortly after childbirth.

They were both 24 and had been married for 13 months. The dad who brought me up was my birth mother’s half-brother and it was agreed within the family that I was never to now.

I shall never understand the reasoning behind this because there was no need for secrecy.

I spent all my life guiltily thinking that my mother had died in childbirth, when in fact, after researching the archives I found that she too had died of TB nine weeks after I was born.

If only I had been told the truth at an early age, it would have saved a lot of speculation and heartache.

I urge anyone who is thinking of adopting a baby to explain the circumstances of the birth as soon as the child is old enough to understand.

The children who are in care or waiting to be adopted should be grateful to Sally Buck who is producing their life story books for them.

I now know where I came from but I don’t know what my parents looked like as I have never seen a photograph. I had a wonderful childhood and loved my mum and dad dearly, but I wish they had been honest with me and told me the truth.

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