I have condensed an extremely long story into just a few words…………….


I had a normal family life; Mum, Dad, Brother, School, holidays, friends, jobs, cars, marriage, kids, good-times, bad-times, mortgage etc.

Three years after Mum died (Dad died first); I discovered Dad was not my biological Father. I asked the few remaining relatives and friends of Mums and they all said much the same thing, “What, didn’t they ever tell you?” It seems most knew this secret except my brother and me.

Research revealed who my real Father was (Basil), and he was still alive. I made contact and, over the next couple of years, enjoyed many outings with him at a local pub for fish and chips and two glasses of Guinness. Basil asked me not to make contact with his two sons who lived nearby.

He had little contact with my Mother after I was born, and didn’t know why I hadn’t been told. It seemed nobody alive knew why I wasn’t told.

Basil died a couple of years later and I finally met my two brothers. At Basil’s wake, I learnt a lot about many family members, most long deceased, and some alive. I call that day “Four cousins and a funeral”, when I was welcomed into my newfound extended family.

I’ll never know the real reason for not being told, and people have asked me how I feel about the whole scenario. I guess my only emotion is of mild anger and sadness for not being told, because it denied me half a lifetime of potential contact with an extended family. Years of family interaction opportunities lost. Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Nephews, and Nieces never met, never known.


So my request to you is; if you know anybody who is holding such a secret, PLEASE ask them to reconsider and tell those involved. Pressure them to reveal all information so that family connections can be made, giving people the opportunity to enjoy family relations.

Regardless of the circumstances, ask them not to deny family members the knowledge they are entitled to, the knowledge to make their own decisions.



Over to you……………..

About cartoonmick

Mick has enjoyed creating cartoons and humorous illustrations since 1996, and his creations have appeared in newspapers, magazines, various manuals and the Internet. Please have a look around Mick’s samples in the 4 sections here and email him for a quote at

Posted on January 1, 2013, in Cartoon, illustration, humour, humor, caricature, political, art, Australia, Perth, cartoonist, Illustrator and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Hello, Mick,

    I’ve known a couple of folks who found out about biological family connections much later on in life as well. Sometimes I chalk it up to “the times”, “back in the day” sort of business. Prior to the ’60s, people didn’t really talk openly about such matters, even though it wasn’t that uncommon. Out-of-wedlock pregnancies, adoptions, etc. were kept quite private.

    Mick, do you think your parents may not have told you because they believed it would spare you heartache? I suppose people do what they do for many reasons, some of which we may never know. I also think perhaps they’re unable (and sometimes unwilling) to think of the effects, the needs of others, and how their own needs for privacy can negatively affect others.

    Thanks for sharing your story. I know your message will help others, and maybe sooner than later too.


    • Thanks for your thoughts, eM.

      I think you’re correct. The social stigma surrounding an unmarried mum in those days was very strong. I’m surprised she was able to keep me, instead of being forced to hand me over for someone to adopt. Maybe her parents had influence in this area.
      I suspect I was never told because my mum would have been very embarrassed about it, and would have found it hard to face me. She was a very proud sort of person.
      I have since found out that close family friends were aware of the situation, but were told never to mention it to me. It was to be kept secret from me.
      Oddly enough, it was a cartoon book my mum bought me 10 years before she died, which led to my discovering who my real dad was. But that’s another (long) story.

      Thanks again, and please circulate this link as far as you can to encourage others to throw these secrets away.

      • I’d like to read that other (long) story when you write it. I’ve posted this in a few places. My readership is small, but we’re all good, kind folk. This will ripple where it needs to go.

        • It may be a small group but it all adds up. And it may just get to that one person who has fingers spread throughout the world.

          Mine is just 1 story. I was lucky and found out. I hope this goes far enough to unlock many others.



  2. I just wanted to check back in to say I am blogging more and more about adoption issues and your post last Jan had a profound effect on me. Thank you a million times.

    • So glad it has been able to help you, Jaye.
      Family links are so important.
      Lack of adoption details can deny so many the opportunity of making contact with family members they do not know about.
      Please keep spreading this post.

  3. There’s a lot I haven’t been told about my dad’s side of the family, but the little I do know makes me glad I don’t know them. I’ve been kept a secret from my father since I was born for my own safety. He’s a dangerous and unstable man. My mum ran away while she was pregnant with me to keep me safe from him.

    Not all secrets are worth knowing.

  1. Pingback: Hidden family | cartoonmick


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