Woman defends mother who abandoned her in public toilet as a baby

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Kayleigh Dray

Kathleen Ann Shea, now 25, was abandoned in the ladies toilets of Baystate Medical Hospital in Massachusetts, USA, when she was just ten days old.

However, while many would expect her to feel anger towards her birth mother, Shea has now taken to Facebook to explain that she has nothing but the “utmost respect” for her.

“Okay, so I'm literally shaking writing this post,” she writes. “It's taken me a good 25 years to do this.”

She adds: “I get the same, typical questions; ‘don't you hate her for leaving you?’ ‘Why would you want to meet her’ etc.

“Well for one, I have the utmost respect for my birth mother, considering she carried me, birthed me, and left me somewhere, knowing I'd be safe. Two, why wouldn't I want to meet her?”

The 25-year-old, who was originally named Jane Doe by social services, goes on to explain that, while she has never met her birth mother, she does know a few things about her.

“She was a minor as they did not release her name in any article,” explains Shea. “[And] she DID turn herself in.”

Woman sat alone at the beach

"Why wouldn't I want to meet her?"

Shea, despite her unusual start in life, had a very happy childhood; she was adopted when she was three months old, and was raised alongside two siblings, a sister and a brother, who were also adopted.

Nowadays, she is a mother herself to two young children. And it seems as if starting a family of her own has helped Shea to better understand “the heartache and decisions” that her birth mother “must have gone through”.

“I don’t resent you, or hate you, or hold anything against you,” she writes.

“I guess, well, I’m just curious, in a way. If you cross my mind every day, then I’m hoping I cross yours every day. I guess I just want to see what could possibly help the void of not knowing.”

Read her post in full below:

The 25-year-old has encouraged the Facebook community to share her post into their own timelines, in the hope that her birth mother will see it.

“Maybe the power of social media will work in my favour,” she says.

Her message has since been shared almost 6,000 times, generating almost 100 comments from well-wishers.

As a result, Shea has now been given the details of the journalists who wrote the original articles about her abandonment – as well as a police sergeant who was involved in the case.

“I can’t thank everyone enough,” she says. “This is amazing, beyond what I ever even expected… I have a good feeling about this.”


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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