Sue Farrell, was made to give up her son at the age of 16, but since then has fostered over 100 foster children with her husband John.
It is a very sad, but common story, that a young girl falls pregnant and is encouraged to give up her child due to her age. These days we see young mums a lot but 50 years ago teen pregnancy was a taboo subject that was swept under the rug and ignored.
This is the story of Sue Farrell, who in 1967, was only 16 years old and gave birth to a boy from an unplanned pregnancy. Due to the social circumstances at the time she was told to give up the child for adoption and hide the fact she was ever pregnant, even from her boyfriend. Without even a photograph of her son, Sue was wracked with guilt and regret, the decision had been taken away from her so it was hard for her to believe it was the right decision.
It was this experience that inspired Sue’s decision to become a Foster carer, believing that many parents need some respite time and wanting to give children a home when they needed it she opened her home to over 100 foster children over the years. Her own Grandmother had also been a single parent and foster carer since 1953, and Sue remembers the time when her grandmother found out about the adoption, chastising her for the decision saying,
“How could you give our flesh and blood away? You should have come to me, I would have helped you.”
30 years of Fostering
Sue has her own family but in 1984 made the decision to become a foster carer as well and with the support of her husband John and her family she has welcomed children into her home. Her children, Justin and Mandy, were just 15 and 8 when she decided to start fostering.
Sue and John say that every one of the 100 children they have welcomed into their home have become as much a part of the family as their own children and grandchildren.
Although her motives sprang from heartache, this story has ended with 100 happy endings, including a silver lining as Sue managed to trace her son Stuart to find out he had a healthy and happy childhood.