A dying mother is rushing to find her two sons whom she put up for adoption decades ago.
72-year-old Ann Gemmell, who is dying of cancer, is in a race against time to locate her two sons more than four decades after putting them up for adoption due to personal struggles.
Back in the early 1970s, Gemmell entrusted her three children, Jane, Derek, and Gail, to the care of her grandmother in Scotland after separating from her husband and moving to England to start a life with her new partner.
In the following years, the mother gave birth to two more sons, Frederick and Edward, whom she put up for adoption due to her struggles.
Fast-forward almost five decades, Gemmell’s final wish is to find and reunite with her two sons before her time runs out.
Helping the grandmother on her quest is her eldest daughter, Gail, who didn’t realize she had half-brothers until she discovered her mother’s hidden adoption papers when she was 12 years old.
After confronting her mom about the papers, Gail discovered that she not only had half-brothers but that their surnames were also Gemmell because her mother was still married to Gail’s father at the time she had Edward and Frederick.
“Things weren’t working out with them and she came back home to my Granny, but my Granny said to her she couldn’t look after another child, there was no way they could feed another mouth and she said we can’t keep Edward,” Gail said.
After giving Edward away, Gemmell became pregnant again after she was briefly reunited with her new partner. After giving birth to Frederick, the child was put up for adoption like his brother a year earlier.
Gemmell eventually returned to Scotland for good and fixed her relationship with the father of her first three children. Up until now, however, she never got to find out what happened to her sons Frederick and Edward.
“My mum never ever spoke about it but obviously now she knows she’s dying,” Gail explained.
“Growing up, it was a bone of contention between her and my Granny and it caused lots of arguments. Every time we would talk about it as adults mum would say that’s a part of my life I don’t want to talk about.
“But I remember at the time, every February and July my mum would just get drunk and that was to blot out their birthdays.”
With Gemmell unlikely to make it past Christmas due to her terminal illness, the 72-year-old is rushing to find her two long-lost sons before it’s too late.
“I know it’s something she regrets and I’m the only person who can tell the boys about their dad. I think if my mum knew they were safe and had a good upbringing that’s all that would matter to her,” Gail added.
“But the sad thing is they don’t know they’re full brothers. They have got actual full blood out there and they don’t know.”