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Poor young woman gives her newborn up for adoption and shows up at his funeral 23 years later

After a 20-year-old girl gave up her parental rights and saw her newborn son go to another family, it became difficult to live without her son. Little did she know she would have to attend her baby’s funeral two decades later.

Even if you have given up your parental rights, losing a child is one of the worst experiences as a parent. The sudden disappearance of their little one comes as a shock as parents generally believe that their children will outlive them.

They say time heals all wounds, but the grief of losing a loved one never goes away. It fades over time but never completely disappears. Parents who watch their children die find it difficult to fight their feelings, even if they gave up their parental rights at birth. The woman in today’s story went through something similar.


Becoming a mother for the first time is an exciting experience for most women. They wait their whole lives to hold a mini version of themselves in their arms and then plan the rest of their lives around their little one. However, Candace Cahill was an exception. She was not thrilled to see her newborn baby.

Cahill, 20, gave birth to her son, Michael, in a hospital room with no balloons or bouquets of flowers. Her family and friends had left her alone, and she felt that the nurses were also acting strange.

As a first-time mother, Cahill couldn’t feel the joy of holding her newborn baby in her arms. No one congratulated her on her birth as they knew she would soon give up her parental rights.


Before giving birth, Cahill was led to believe that she was unfit to become a mother because she was “poor, uneducated and single”. The adoption advocate made Cahill feel she was not qualified to be a “good mother”.

Cahill was moved to see her baby for the first time in years.

From the start, Cahill knew she had to give up her beloved son after he was born. She took advice to help her give up her baby, but she felt it was humiliating. She didn’t feel comfortable when the adoption advocate called her a “biological mother.” Cahill thought the term compared her to a “baby incubator”.


After undergoing a C-section, Cahill remained in the hospital for a few days while doctors monitored her health. Meanwhile, she had little Michael all to herself. She spent those days cuddling him and explaining to him why he needed another family to raise him. She recalled:

“Those moments, however, alone with my newborn son, remain some of the most bittersweet of my life.”

Meanwhile, Cahill also tried to explain to himself why giving up his parental rights was the best option. Soon doctors said she was fit to go home, which also meant she had to part ways with the little boy who had been a part of her existence for nine months. She had to let her newborn son go, unaware of how she felt about it.

Candice Cahill. | Source: facebook.com/Candace Cahill


Cahill went to her mother’s house from the hospital, where no one acknowledged the missing baby. She felt her family wouldn’t let her mourn the loss of her son, but she didn’t blame them. She says:

“I don’t blame my family for not acknowledging my child’s absence; how could they do that when I couldn’t admit it?”

Cahill could feel Michael’s absence, but she didn’t know how to deal with it. No one advised her to deal with the overwhelming sadness she felt after abandoning her newborn son. The 20-year-old only felt better shouting it. She had no other choice because giving up her baby for adoption was her own choice.


Cahill only cried in private because other people felt she didn’t have to feel sad about giving up her son for adoption. They never acknowledged her pain and some people also made her feel guilty asking her how she could give her newborn son to someone else.

To counter his guilt, Cahill devised a strategy. Whenever anyone asked her about Michael, she said she had no children. Cahill thought the dissociation was better than the looks people gave her after knowing what she had done.

However, she stopped doing it after Michael turned 18, as she could now meet him. Cahill was moved to see her baby for the first time in years. He was a tall, grown man, but he was still a baby to her. If she had known this would be her last meeting with her son, she would have made the most of it.


The reunion gave Cahill another reason to look forward to life. She was thrilled because now she no longer had to hide her adoption story. She could talk to her son and see him whenever she wanted.

One day, Cahill’s husband came to see her and said something shocking to her. Her smile faded when she heard his words, and she could feel her heart racing. She recounted the two words her husband said that pierced her heart:

“Michael is dead.”


Once again, Cahill lost her son, but she couldn’t find him this time. She also noticed that people felt sorry for her. It’s something they didn’t do when Cahill first lost his son.

At her 23-year-old son’s funeral, Cahill was allowed to sit next to Michael’s adoptive family. She felt honored to be sitting there, but she couldn’t understand their feelings. Their way of mourning his death was different. They talked about the times they spent with him, when Cahill didn’t have those memories with his son.

Some grief experts told her she could cook her son’s favorite food and set the table for him to acknowledge his loss. They had no idea that she didn’t know what her son’s favorite dish was and that he had never sat at her table. Cahill asked:

“How could I honor and mourn someone I didn’t even know? »

Cahill’s story teaches us to recognize a mother’s grief when she gives up her baby for adoption because society tends to ignore her feelings simply because the process took place with her consent.

Click here to read another story about a 16-year-old girl who abandoned her newborn son in a nursing home only to find he had taken a DNA test 30 years later.


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