Note: This post is from my business blog, Emily Cathryn Photography, it was posted earlier in the year. I felt it was a necessary one to share here. There a few minor updates to the original post featured here, as new bits and pieces had come to light shortly after I posted the original. Images from this post are not to be reproduced.
In August 1967, a nineteen year old woman named Vicki Lyn Taplin gave birth to a baby girl in Crown Street Womens Hospital in Sydney. She named this baby girl Melissa. Being unmarried and very young, Vicki was faced with the unbelievably difficult decision of giving up her child. Weeks later, this baby girl was adopted & given the name Elizabeth.
This baby girl, as it happens is my Mum.
Mum found out she was adopted as a teenager, and with the support of her adoptive parents (my amazing grandparents) began the search for her birth family. This search was long winded and emotionally turbulent, but finally when I was about seven years old, Mum found out what had become of her birth mother. Sadly, Vicki had passed away in 1978.
The discovery wasn’t all sadness however as it gained Mum more siblings, Aunts & Uncles. However, there was one final piece to the puzzle that was missing. Who is Mum’s biological father? This is a question that has yet to be answered.
The question was posed to all the relatives who could have possibly known at the time, but it seems Vicki remained tight lipped on the subject. There is no name listed for the father on Mum’s pre-adoption birth certificate. Here is what we do have on Mum’s father, based on adoption records from the time:
-He was 22 years old, making his birth year around 1945.
-He was studying an Arts degree.
-Had an average build, brown hair & hazel eyes.
-He was aware of the pregnancy.
*This information has to be taken with a grain of salt, as Vicki used a fake surname and a different age on different documents, this was common at the time with these circumstances*
With the fact that there is not much information to go on in mind, I have administered DNA tests on Mum and myself. However DNA testing of this nature is a collaborative endeavour. To confirm a match, one must have at least a small amount of familial knowledge, which we definitely don’t have.
I believe someone must have some idea though of who Mum’s biological father is, outside the family perhaps. We just haven’t found that someone to point us in the right direction yet. Vicki at the time of conception was a psychiatric nurse, possibly at Callan Park Hospital in Sydney. She was living in the nurses quarters at Callan Park, her family were living in Newcastle. During the later months of her pregnancy, Vicki was a live in Nanny to an unknown family in North Sydney, before spending time in an unwed mother’s home, the one affiliated with Crown Street Women’s Hospital. After giving birth to Mum, she joined the WRANS around 1968, before getting married in 1969.
I am asking everyone to share this with everyone you know. Did any of your relatives have a friend named Vicki in the 60s? Were any of them nurses in the late 60s at Callan Park? Were you in the WRANs Class 103 of 1968? If so I would love to chat with you, as I would like to know if Vicki confided in anyone during or after her pregnancy with Mum. Mum would love the chance to meet her biological father, as would I. But first things first, we need a name. No piece of information is too small, it could go a long way in the search. Please contact me via email at email@example.com or via the blog and help me to find the final piece of the puzzle.
This post has been written with Mum’s permission as well as that of my adoptive grandparents. I consider myself lucky, as I have two sets of family on Mum’s side and this search in no way diminishes the love and respect I have for my adoptive grandparents. They helped to raise my sister and I, and I can’t put into words just how lucky I am to have grandparents like them. Not all adoption stories turn out the way Mum’s did I have quickly learnt, Mum without a doubt won the lottery with Nan & Pa and I thank them for their never-ending support with not just this difficult search, but with everything.
As I said above, please share this with everyone. Even if you have no connections to us, your help would be much appreciated. Updates will come as new information comes to light.