Margaret Norton nee Browne pictured in the Longford Arms Hotel. Photo: Michelle Ghee
A 41-year-old Co Longford mother of two who was illegally adopted after she was born, has been contacted by her birth mother.
Earlier this year in the Longford Leader, Margaret Norton revealed how she had been handed over to her adoptive parents after a well known Co Monaghan GP organised the adoption in 1972.
She also indicated that she was desperate to meet her birth mother and remained hopeful that her pleas would shed some light on the situation in time to come.
Last week, Margaret’s dream came true as her birth mother made contact with her for the first time, through what she described to the Irish Sunday Mail as “a detailed letter”.
While the woman is not quite ready to meet the daughter she handed over more than four decades ago, she provided Margaret with a detailed account of her pregnancy and birth - an insight into a background that Margaret could once, only dream about.
“I was in shock because it wasn’t what I had been expecting,” said Margaret, adding that it was a “gorgeous letter” that was “beautifully written, and “written with such warmth”.
“My first feeling was thank God she is still alive, because most of the people that were involved in my adoption are now dead. Now I have the first real contact with my real mum in over 40 years.”
The three page letter was delivered to the home of a friend of Margaret’s in Co Monaghan and revealed that her mother - who was unmarried in 1972 - decided to place her for adoption after falling pregnant.
“Almost everything that I asked for in my public search was contained in the letter - the way it happened, how it happened, my family’s medical history, my real date of birth and new details about my mum’s well-being,” Margaret added.
“Myself and my mum have lost 40 years. Neither of us are to blame for that, there is no blame or bitterness here. I pray that we can pick up where we left off that day in 1972 and I want her to know that it is safe for her to come forward. For years, I thought I would never get this far and this is the closest to her that I have ever been. It’s about me and her now - it doesn’t matter about anyone else - this is our time now and we need to grab it while we can.”
As a child Margaret always knew that she was adopted, and her parents explained to her how they had collected her from outside a hotel in Co Louth, when she was just three years old. It was only when she was in her 20s and needed the long version of her birth certificate to apply for a passport that she discovered that there was no adoption cert. Then the journey to find her birth mum began.
* This story was first published on the Longford Leader website on June 12, 2013