Entertainment

Wednesday 22 February 2017

'There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think about him' - TV3's popular 'Adoption Stories' is back with more touching accounts

Published 04/10/2016 | 11:44

Emer Halpenny opens up about her own adoption experience. Photo: TV3 'Adoption Stories'
Emer Halpenny opens up about her own adoption experience. Photo: TV3 'Adoption Stories'
Emer Halpenny opens up about her own adoption experience. Photo: TV3 'Adoption Stories'
Emer Halpenny, her husband Geoff Minogue and their daughters Ciara and Aisling. Photo: TV3 'Adoption Stories'
Emer Halpenny and husband Geoff Minogue. Photo: TV3 'Adoption Stories'

TV3's hugely successful documentary series Adoption Stories is back with stories that will resonate with people across Ireland.

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In the first episode, which is due to air on Wednesday, we meet Emer Halpenny from Dublin who gave her son Andrew up for adoption 28 years ago. Now married to Fair City actor Geoff Minogue and with two more children, Emer hopes she might one day be reunited with her son.

Emer Halpenny and husband Geoff Minogue. Photo: TV3 'Adoption Stories'
Emer Halpenny and husband Geoff Minogue. Photo: TV3 'Adoption Stories'

Her pregnancy at 19 was unplanned. When she revealed the news to the father of the baby he left for England and cut off all contact. Emer wasn't sure that she could provide her baby with the financial support that he needed and decided to meet with an adoption agency.

When her baby was born, he was allowed to stay with her for four days in the hospital before moving on to foster care for about two months while she recovered from the birth

Remembering back, Emer said: “I experienced that unconditional love you have for a child. It was no longer about me, and of course he was the most beautiful baby in the ward.”

Emer's family, including her parents and three sisters, also had a chance to meet the little boy and fell in love instantly; none of them wanted to let him go.

Emer Halpenny opens up about her own adoption experience. Photo: TV3 'Adoption Stories'
Emer Halpenny opens up about her own adoption experience. Photo: TV3 'Adoption Stories'

Her memories of leaving the hospital with her mother are shrouded in sadness. As they walked out they came across a couple with their new baby, looking forward to a very different future.

“I always remember my mother saying to ‘put on your lipstick, walk out, head high’ and that’s what we did. But when we were walking out the door there was a couple leaving the hospital at the same time with their baby and I thought that was really cruel of God to that.”

She eventually found love and married her partner Geoff, who plays Tommy in Fair City, and the pair had two daughters together, Aisling and Ciara but Emer never stopped thinking about her baby Andrew.

When he turned 18, Emer hoped he might make contact with the adoption agency to see if they could meet. That didn't happen at the time and after a few years, Emer asked for a photo and information on how he was doing. The photo she received surprised her; he was the image of her.

Emer Halpenny, her husband Geoff Minogue and their daughters Ciara and Aisling. Photo: TV3 'Adoption Stories'
Emer Halpenny, her husband Geoff Minogue and their daughters Ciara and Aisling. Photo: TV3 'Adoption Stories'

She's still hoping that he will make contact and her daughters would love to meet the brother they've heard about since they were toddlers.

“What I would find difficult would be if I did initiate and he rejected, I think that would be something I probably wouldn’t get over. There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think about him.”

The brand new series of Adoption Stories airs on Wednesday, October 5 at 8.30pm on TV3.

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