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I was adopted in 1955, but was always aware of the fact that I was. My birth mother was very young at the time, and in those days it was not the done thing to have a child out of wedlock. Her own parents had died when she was eight years oldand she was being looked after by her uncle and aunt in Glasgow. She was only fifteen when she became pregnant and if you know the type of living in Glasgow around 1955, it comes of no surprise that the family told her, and left her with no option, to what was to happen with her baby. She was moved from one hostel to another, even sent to a convent so others would not know of this so called disgrace. I stayed with my mum for six weeks as she was made to feed me until I was taken (not offered) and put up for adoption.
I actually got started searching, instead of just thinking about it, in 1990. Contacting the authorities in Scotland as I had all my details, birth name, where born and my mothers name and address. The bottom line as to the dealings with the authorities is that they were in no way doing the task of searching that they were employed to do. I had the odd phone call saying they may have a lead in Aberdeen, and the odd story here and there. For some reason apart from the fact that I now lived in Plymouth in Devon and could not do the search myself, I accepted all there stories.
Then when the B.B.C. did the search program I placed an add on their web page. I also had place searches on other sights but with no response, meanwhile Edinburgh were apparently still doing a search for me. During the time I had placed my search on the B.B.C. web page, I was contacted by a lady that we all now know and respect, DEBBY WILSON. Over a period of weeks when I was yet again about to say forget it, when I was yet again coming up against brick walls, I was told under no circumstances was I giving up or something would happen to me ( kick up the backside was Debbys expression as she said I should not give up if I had felt it right to start the search in the first place. It took Debby about eight weeks to come up with a result, a positive result, but she said we had to check a few things out first. The checks were done and Debby made the contact, but was then put in a totally heart rending situation. Debby was told that my family were in Cambridge and had been for about 30 years, but my mum had died just two years ago. Debby was distraught, and did not know how to tell me this news and waited till the next day to contact me.
I have nothing but admiration for the hard work, dedication and support that she and her friends gave me during this period. I have three sisters and two brothers who have always known of me. Also their father knew of me and all have welcomed me back into the fold as if I had always been there. I now know of the things in my life that confused me. Why I had certain traits that my adopted family thought to them were wrong, but were in my blood. My thoughts, mannerisms, I now know where they come from. My life is now complete, but there are always things on the other side of the coin, it is not all plain straight forward, but these things are being worked on by my family and myself.
I can only say to others searching, that you must keep an open mind. There will be ups and downs on your travels, but in the end as long as you are prepared to accept things for what they are, you will have peace of mind. And as for my thoughts on the authorities that say they are the ones to help you through the search, I would rather keep those thoughts to my self, and hope that I do not meet any of them face to face, for my sake and my mother who never got to see her first born before she died.
Thank you to Paul Field as well, for the brilliant web site that he has given to us all, without Paul and the Family Circle I would no doubt have either given up or got nowhere, and incidentally the Authorities in Scotland are still searching!
David Copeland - birth name.