An adopted brother and sister who were born in Ireland to different parents but grew up together in the United States have made some shocking discoveries about their pasts.
Patrick and Roxanne Farrington grew up together in a happy home in Billings, MT, but they always knew they were adopted. During a special episode of TV3’s "Adoption Stories," the pair travel to Ireland to find out more about their family histories.
Ten years ago, Roxanne discovered her biological family in Carlow and found out she was the youngest of seven siblings. Her mother passed away before she had the chance to meet her.
“When I found out I had six siblings that really blew me away. Interestingly enough I was the seventh child that was born. Her parents helped raise the kids. Her father had died that spring and her mother decided she couldn’t cope with another child,” says Roxanne.
“She had taken me back to the house, she wasn’t supposed to and somebody notified the priest. So the priest took her and I back to the home and sometime after that I was put up for adoption.”
During the television show, Roxanne’s nephew tells her that his grandmother Eileen, Roxanne’s mother, was not allowed to see her daughter but knitted clothes for her for a year while waiting for her to be adopted.
Patrick, a father of two, recently had to have an operation due to diabetes and felt that he needed to learn more about his family history.
He said that despite having a happy childhood, he often “feels lost” and thinks the feeling comes from being adopted.
Patrick said: “I feel like I’m not as emotionally attached as I should be or could be. I think going on this journey will bring me closer to my family here.”
The Irish Mirror reports that Patrick Sean Farrington was born Patrick Keating in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day in 1960 and placed in a childrens' hospital run by a Dublin adoption agency.
When he was two, he was adopted and brought to his new home in the States.
Because of his travel and adoption to the U.S. he had access to his original birth certificate, which states the name of his biological mother.
During his travels back to Ireland, Patrick, who also thought he was given up for adoption because he was an illegitimate child, was horrified to discover that he was put up for adoption by his mother and father who were married to each other at the time of his birth. They were married 14 years before he was born.
Patrick goes on to meet his uncle Ben in Celbridge, Co Kildare, who is stunned to find out he had a nephew, but still greets him with open arms.
Ben reveals that Patrick’s father had moved to Bristol in England years before Patrick was born. Patrick also discovered that he has two sisters.
Unfortunately, just like Roxanne, Patrick finds out that his mother Patsy died in 2001.
He said: “I was disappointed and hurt that I didn’t start this search sooner so that I could have had a chance to have met her.”