Wish to see birth parents
11th August 2012
Updated 14th August 2012
A WOMAN whose birth parents gave her up for adoption in Merbein in the 1950s is keen to get a photograph of them before she dies of cancer.
Ann Kendall was born on February 17, 1949, to parents Cornelius Henry Gebert and Doris Elizabeth Gebert (nee Nicholson) at the Mildura Base Hospital and then lived in Merbein.
She was placed into a babies home in Melbourne when she was two or three years old and then went to St Catherine’s Orphanage in Geelong, from where she was adopted by a couple from Melbourne.
She now lives in Geelong.
In June this year she was diagnosed with lung cancer and given two years to live.
Mrs Kendall said the grim forecast had spurred her to look into her family history.
“I’ve always wanted for some reason – even though they’re both dead – I’ve never seen a photo of them to see what they look like – if I look like them,” she said.
Mrs Kendall has met the other five of the Geberts’ children put up for adoption.
“I haven’t got a photo of my birth mother either so I could walk past them and not know.”
In her 20s, Mrs Kendall met her mother but realised the reason she and her siblings were given up was because her mother was an alcoholic.
Mrs Kendall is now part of a group called Care Leavers of Australia Network that is this week asking the United Nations Committee Against Torture to examine what they say is the failure of federal and state governments to exercise their duty of care to children in orphanages, children’s homes, foster care and other institutions in Australia.
Anyone with information or a photo of Mrs Kendall’s parents can call her care of the Care Leavers of Australia Network on 1800 008 774, email email@example.com or send mail to PO Box 164, Georges Hall NSW 2198.