A devastated mother has revealed the moment she discovered she was allegedly handed the wrong baby by nuns after leaving her daughter in their care while she looked for a home.
Helen Maguire, now 71, spent over five decades believing her child Christine was her biological daughter, only to find out recently following a DNA test that the now grown woman is not biologically hers.
Speaking to the Irish Independent about the heartbreaking chain of events, the mum claimed nuns at a hospital in Dublin in Ireland gave her another person’s child when she returned to the facility after leaving her there for six weeks.
Helen and her daughter found out after deciding to take a DNA test following a widely publicised illegal adoption scandal in the country. Shockingly, the results came back showing a 99 per cent certainty that Christine was not Helen’s child.
The mum said she’s devastated with the discovery and feels sorry for her biological daughter, who is believed to have been adopted by another couple living in Dublin.
“We just couldn’t believe it,” Helen explained to the news outlet. “A child in my life…I’m always thinking about her now, and Christine and how Christine feels… She will always be my daughter as far as I’m concerned. I brought her up as my baby, and she will always be my baby.”
The mum added: “Christine’s life has been turned upside down. It is something I have got to live with now for the rest of my life.”
Helen’s biological daughter was born on November 25, 1966, and left in the care of nuns at St Patrick’s Guild from December 3, 1966, while Helen went back to visit her parents.
She explained to the news outlet that she hadn’t told her family about the baby and was scared they would force her to put the child up for adoption. After leaving her daughter at the facility, Helen had to go along with the idea that the baby would be adopted but also left a handwritten note informing them of her plans to return.
While visiting her parents, Helen ended up telling her mother about Christine and the pair returned to Dublin a week later to visit the baby. However, according to Helen the nuns were “horrible” when they discovered the child was not being given up for adoption.
The mum continued to send money to the hospital for Christine’s care in the weeks following while she found somewhere for them to live. On January 19 she was finally able to collect her child, but even then Helen said something didn’t feel right when she was presented with the baby girl.
“I went in and they brought me over to this basket and I said to them: ‘That’s not Christine’. But they said it was,” she explained to the Irish Independent.
According to the publication, Helen informed them that her child had dark hair while the child she was given had blonde hair. But the nuns claimed that all babies were born with black her and the child was indeed her own.
Since discovering the two are definitely not related, Helen and Christine have tried their best to uncover what really happened that day. The pair have sought help from a Dublin law firm which had dealt with many involved in the scandal at St Patrick’s Guild.
They have managed to discover Christine’s correct date and place of birth and have identified a woman believed to be Helen’s biological daughter, the Irish Independent reported.