At the age of fourteen, Lynne Oakes’ childhood was devastated when she fell pregnant by an older man. Forced to give it up for adoption, she has finally been reunited with her baby, fifty-two years later.
According to the Mirror, when Lynne originally realized her pregnancy in 1968, she was sent away to a mother and baby home because “my parents just couldn’t handle it.”
After giving birth to a healthy baby boy she enjoyed a precious and joyful few days with him before he was “snatched from her arms” for adoption. Lynne, now sixty-eight, recalled the horrendous grief she endured as she had taken to motherhood quite quickly.
“I was always knitting. I made lots of baby clothes to keep [him] warm and make him look nice,” she said.
“I loved every minute of it, bathing him, I’d sing to him, and I’d talk to him. For ten days you get to love something – then the very last day I remember crying.
“My tears were dropping on his face as I was feeding him and I was saying I was sorry and I loved him and I’ll always love him, and one day I would find him.
“And then they put him in the cot, just wheeled him away and that was it. I couldn’t believe something so beautiful was snatched from my arms.”
As she grew up, Lynne became a bank clerk, now retired and married, however, she had no more children. She had tried in the past to reunite with her son but had no success until ITV’s Long Lost Family.
The show found her son last year. Now called Michael Cocks, he lives in Thetford, Norfolk and the reunion between mother and son, which is to be shown on TV next week, was said to be “magic.”
Lynne added: “He keeps holding my hand and wants to call me Mum.”
Michael, who is a builder, also introduced Lynne to his own family including his daughter Ellie, saying that Lynne is “such a lovely woman. She is going to be a big part of our family.”
Lynne added: “This is a second chance for me. I’m a mum, a grand-mum and a great grand-mum. Am I gonna wake up and this has been one big dream? No. It’s true.”
Mother and baby homes have been in England since the 1800s, with the main purpose being a place for unmarried women to give birth away from society. Often orchestrated by social workers or parents of young mothers, instead of bringing shame onto the family, they were ushered into the confines of these homes. The 1960s saw the highest rate of adoption orders granted in England from mother and baby homes.