Author Topic: Baby Davis Adoption  (Read 198 times)


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Baby Davis Adoption
« on: January 12, 2021, 06:47:37 PM »
Good Evening All,

We found out recently that we have a long lost cousin out there somewhere but the only information we have is a photo of a toddler with the writing Daphne's son on the back.
Daphne (Eileen Daphne Davis) was my great auntie and for a long time my mum believed she just wasn't able to have children - she was a spinster and Norland Nanny for a large part of her life. It turns out that she was in a mother and baby home at one point in her youth and gave birth to a son who was swiftly adopted by a minister and his wife. The story is so sad, it seems that she was taken advantage of by the father of the family she was nanny to and then shipped off to a mother and baby home, an experience after which she was no longer able to have children.

How would one even start a search without any idea of a name or date of birth? We assume he was born either in the 40s or 50s. Just hoping someone has the other half of the story to slot together!


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Re: Baby Davis Adoption
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2021, 09:36:22 PM »
Welcome to the forum STPA

I can't help you with any answers but have you considered contacting the Norland Agency?  They may very well hold a register of students in their archives (I'd be surprised if they didnf't) or point you in a direction where you may find further information about Daphne and famiies she was appointed to.

Try contacting them here  & Good Luck in your search


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Re: Baby Davis Adoption
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2021, 12:57:12 PM »

I have a suggestion as to how you might be able to find the boyís birth. Firstly I would work out out when Daphne was born. (Perhaps you have her birth or death certificates? Do you know when her parents married? They should all give you a start date). Then I would search birth records from the year when she was 16, for perhaps 10 to 15 years onwards. Thatís not as daunting as it sounds.

I assume the birth was in Belfast. I searched randomly chosen years (1912 Ė 1916) for male Davis births in Belfast that were illegitimate. There were 35 Davis births but only 1 illegitimate. (Births without a fatherís name only have 1 surname in the indexes Ė ie the motherís Ė so they easily stand out.). So if Daphne were born in 1925 and you were to search male Davis births in Belfast 1941-56 you might find somewhere between say 1 and 10 that were illegitimate. You could then pay to view them (£2.50 a time on GRONI) to see if any had Daphne as the mother.

One possible snag is that if the father is named on the certificate then it wonít be obvious from the indexes that itís an illegitimate birth. (If the father attended the registration and admitted paternity then his name could go on the certificate. Otherwise it was the motherís name only. Iíd guess that in this case, given who the father allegedly was, he probably didnít confirm paternity).
The next snag is that births for the years you need are not on-line. They are open to the public but not routinely on-line. If you go to GRONI or PRONI in Belfast in person (when they are fully open) you can search there, but no other location or website has the information for births in NI after 1921. You could also contact GRONI by phone or e-mail and ask them to search for you, but I would imagine there will be extra fees for that.

If the child was formally adopted, I think the birth record will be noted to that effect but Ė as I understand it Ė it will not give any information about the identity of the adoptive parents, or of any new name the child may have been given.  GRONI should have that information on their adoption register but I think that is closed save to the adoptive person and perhaps certain others. If you find the birth, you could ask GRONI for advice but I am not sure if you can get the information you want.
I attended a public lecture given by the Deputy Director of GRONI a year or two back and someone asked who could see an adoptive childís records. The answer was the child could, plus the birth mother could also request it, but there were certain criteria. What happens if they are both dead? The answer was no-one can access the records.  Thatís my recollection but as I say you would need to check with GRONI. I may not have got it quite right.