hospital stay2In the posted photo here there are three adoptees. My two grandchildren Melissa and Christopher, and me. Adoption is a common place thing these days if somewhat more difficult in cutting through all the red tape. However the red tape is probably a very necessary part of deciding the future of a child’s life. It wasn’t always so, adoption was often done out of convenience, the Island is indeed a good example. Farm families often adopted boys with the intention of raising them to be farm labourer’s. Of course in the case of Anne of Green Gables it backfired!. Linda’s own father was adopted for this purpose in the 1920’s. But perhaps one of the most unusual adoptions was my own adoption in 1942. On Boxing day 1939 when I was just eleven months old my mother passed away. The Second World War was in full swing and life was already very difficult. Having a baby to care for while my father had to work was a major problem. My eldest sister Lily took care of me for the first year and a half, but in 1942 she married a British sailor and to move to Scotland to be near her husband. This created a real issue for my father, he asked my mothers sisters if they would take me in. No one could they all had large families of their own. Eventually my sister Lily agreed to collect me and take me to Scotland. This seemed the ideal solution and for a while it was. However, in a nation at war things become complicated with ration books etc. Every time Lily applied for clothing stamps and food ration book questions arose over my name being different from her and her husband. You see her married name was Cook and my surname was Rodgers.  In 1943 they arrived at a solution by adopting me in a Dumfermline Sheriff’s court. In March of 1943 I became Frederick Cook. In 1950 I returned home to live with my father and my brothers and sisters in Belfast. I really wanted to change my name back to Rodgers, I hated being call Cookie at school. My sister Anna took me to the Belfast City Hall, dept of births deaths and marriages to change my name. The clerk looked up my records and told me my name had never been changed I was Rodgers. I gave it no more thought, I was just happy to have my name back. However in 2000 I began writing my first book “Lily & Me” and during my research I came across my Dumfermline adoption papers. Apparently in the war years records were not shared between record offices in other cities. I have done nothing about it, seems a bit late to worry now, but I often wonder if the tax collector in Scotland is looking for this mysterious tax evader Frederick Cook????

God Bless and keep reading



About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
This entry was posted in Belfast Blitz, Belfast Social History, family and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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