Longing to see son after 64 years

2015-09-01 06:00
Betty Maritz shows a letter she sent to a newspaper during 1993 to help find her son. Maritz gave birth at 19 and hasn’t seen her child in 64 years after a care mother took the child to a clinic to register his details.

Chevon Booysen

Betty Maritz shows a letter she sent to a newspaper during 1993 to help find her son. Maritz gave birth at 19 and hasn’t seen her child in 64 years after a care mother took the child to a clinic to register his details. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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An 83-year-old woman has one wish before she departs for the hereafter– she wants to meet her son that was taken from her a day after giving birth.

Betty Maritz says her heart’s desire is to meet her only child who should be 64-years-old this year. Maritz tells her heart-wrenching story with desperate longing saying she will ­only feel better once they reunite.

“I was 19 when I fell pregnant. At the time I lived with a woman in Retreat who took me in as her own daughter. She eventually noticed that I was pregnant. I was already in my second trimester,” she says. “She asked who the father was and I told her. I suggested that the guy come meet her as well but she did not want to hear anything of it. Not long after, the father of my child did not contact me anymore,” Maritz explains.

She says on the day that she gave birth she remembers a midwife assisted in her delivery at home. “After giving birth I was so tired and exhausted. All I know is I gave birth to a boy who had a distinct birthmark on his back. After the birth I was exhausted, my guardian mother said we could go the next day to give my child’s details at the clinic,” she recalls.

The next morning Maritz says she was woken up and was told to wash her baby as well as his clothes. “My guardian then offered to take my baby to the clinic and have his details registered. I can’t read or write so I gave her my baby as she offered her help,” Maritz says.

When her guardian returned later that ­afternoon, she came home drunk and without Maritz’s child. “I asked her where my child was and all she said was: ‘Wat worry jy vir jou? Jou kind is vrek.’ (Why are you worried? Your child is dead). I couldn’t believe it and I kept asking her where my child was, but she gave me the same response each time. Up until today I do not know what happened to my child on that day, but I have a strong suspicion that he was either sold or given away. I just want my child back,” Maritz cries.

She adds her search for her son never stopped, but due to too little detail she has had no luck. “But I will continue,” she says.

She has since moved to Parkwood. “I feel like I was robbed of being a mother. My son might be out there thinking I abandoned him, but I just want to see him so I can tell him that is not what happened.”

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