I knew my family was keeping secrets. Then I discovered I had a brother I’ve never known


I was an only child. It was lonely and I used to get into mischief around the place. I often read to pass the time. There were two books in particular that we had in the house – Every Man and Every Woman. These books were classed as a puberty book for both men and women but were old copies published years before my birth. I remember being around eight or nine years of age flicking through the books, which to me were fascinating due to the nature of the content.
In the back of the Every Woman book there was some handwritten information;


Length = 53cm

I always wondered what the date was as it was not my birthday nor that of my mother or father.

I was around 10 when I first recalled asking mum what the date was in the back of the book. Over the years I continued to enquire about it. There would always be an answer like, ‘Oh it was a book I was given and the date was already in there,’ or the answer would change to ‘It’s just a special date, it doesn’t matter.’

I don’t know why I was so curious but I just couldn’t let it go. I just knew it had to mean something.

I recall my mum would always have a little shandy [beer mixed with soft drink] on that date (my mother never normally drank) and she was always sad.
Over the years my curiosity about the date never waned. I don’t know why I was so curious but I just couldn’t let it go. I just knew it had to mean something.
Then, when I was in my teens, my father was diagnosed with bowel cancer and passed away. It was a difficult time for our family. But even with this sadness something about that date stayed with me.

I was 16 or 17 years old when I had a big argument with my mother. I think I was in a rebellious stage of life, trying to find my feet in the big wide world and adjust to knowing that I would never have my father around. It was hard as a teenager, especially knowing he wouldn’t be there for the big milestones in my life. It was during this argument that I brought up the date again and in the heat of the moment, mum told me that I had a brother. Not only that I had a brother, but that he was a full brother belonging to my mother and father.

This was a massive piece of news to be able to process and I was so angry at my mum for keeping that from me. For what I had missed out on. I wondered whether he had tried to find us, whether he was alive, what he was like, whether I could be an aunty.
I was given more information over the next couple of days. I was told that mum and dad were in their late teens when they found out mum was pregnant. They wanted to get married but instead my mother was sent away to live with her older brother and his wife for the duration of her pregnancy. She was basically sent into hiding in a small rural town in Tasmania. Once the baby was born at the Launceston General Hospital on 11th July 1970 the baby boy, my brother, was taken away for adoption. Despite this not being the wishes of either of my parents, the forced adoption was carried out. My mother said that she never got to see him and the only details she was given were the details written in the back of the book.

My parents stayed together and eventually had me, which seemed all the more cruel that they weren’t allowed to keep their son.

I want to know whether he had a good life, had a family, and I want to see what he looks like.

Straight away I wanted to find him, but I didn’t really know how to as I was a teenager. I was excited but also nervous not knowing who he was. I called and sent in an application requesting more information. They sent me the adoption certificate, including what the adoptive parents had named him, and that he lived on the West Coast of Tasmania. This information didn’t lead to much and Adoptions Tasmania were not able to locate him at the time. It appears that he may have spent some time in Western Australia.
I have since re-made contact with the adoption services and am now aware of a support group for children and families of forced adoptions run through .
Mum and I have always spoken about finding him. As she ages, she is curious as to where he is and if he may be back in Tasmania. We both feel nervous about the prospect of finding him as we don’t know what kind of man he has turned out to be and whether he is a good person.

Despite the uncertainties, for myself I would like to know he is safe and well. I want to know whether he had a good life, had a family, and I want to see what he looks like. My emotions are always mixed as I worry that he may not even know about his adoption so I’m always torn about the realities of finding him but I know, just like the date in the book, I’ll never be able to let this go until I know more.

[ad_2] File source

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button