Friday 23 February 2018

Woman tells TV3 programme of her heartache after DNA test proved woman she believed to be her birth mother wasn't related to her

Geraldine McCarthy, who was adopted from a Mother and Baby home in 1958 Credit: TV3
Geraldine McCarthy, who was adopted from a Mother and Baby home in 1958 Credit: TV3
Geraldine McCarthy Credit: TV3
Geraldine McCarthy Credit: TV3

David Kearns

An adopted Irish woman left devastated by the news her birth mother had died before they could meet said she found renewed hope when a DNA test proved she had the wrong woman.

Having met the family of the woman she believed to be her mother, Geraldine McCarthy told TV3's 'Adoption Stories' she was left “shocked and disappointed” when she learned they had no connection.

A DNA test taken a few weeks after meeting her new family shattered her belief that she had finally discovered her roots.

Left bereft by the news, the Clare woman soon realised it meant her birth mother could still be alive.

Telling her story in the latest episode of TV3’s new series ‘Adoption Stories’, Ms McCarthy was born in the Castlepollard’s Mother and Baby home in Co Longford,  in 1958 and was adopted six months later.

Having always thought about the mother she never knew, Ms McCarthy finally began searching for her in the early 1990s.

Applying for her adoption file under the Freedom of Information Act, she received an extract from the register in Castlepollard where her mother's Christian name, age and location was recorded.

“Her name was Margaret, she was 22 and from Mitchelstown in Cork,” said Ms McCarthy, who remembered her adoptive mother had given her a possible surname for her mother.

Placing an advert in the local paper, the Clare woman was soon contacted by a family from Cork who suspected Margaret may have been their sister.

The brother of the woman with the same name as Ms McCarthy's mother broke the news to her that his sister had passed away a number of years ago.

Still, despite never knowing whether Margaret had ever been pregnant, he told the hopeful Ms McCarthy that certain aspects of her life matched the experience of his sister.

Two of Margaret's siblings gave samples to test against Ms McCarthy's, so she could be sure, but the results were negative. 

While disappointed that she is not related to the woman named on her file, Ms McCarthy said she realised the news meant her natural mother might not be dead, after all.

The third episode of ‘Adoption Stories’ airs this Thursday (25th June) at 8:30pm on TV3.

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