In 1969, when Susan Gervaise was four years old, a couple from Scotland approached her English family with a bizarre proposition. According to Daily Mail, they offered to take the pre-schooler with them to Disney World. Her biological mother, who struggled to provide for her seven children, saw it as an opportunity for her daughter to have an exciting experience. Gervaise’s birth certificate was given to them, and she never saw her mother again.
At the time, a child could travel internationally with a birth certificate and parental permission. Her “adoptive family” then added her to their passport, and she was able to travel abroad. From the UK, they traveled to Canada and Australia, before settling in New Zealand.
“They took me to Canada then Australia and later New Zealand. This was always their plan. I lived a cherished life where I was spoiled rotten. My mum died from MS when I was 10, but even then, being raised in the hub of a travelling community I was very loved.”
Gervaise, who was born Susan Preece, had been told that she was adopted. She hadn’t learned that she had been forcibly taken from her family at 16, when her “adoptive father” confessed to his crimes. Despite knowing she had been kidnapped, she hadn’t began searching for her family until she was 56.
Now, after 53 years, Gervaise has finally been reunited with her siblings. In October of last year, for her 57th birthday, Gervaise celebrated her birthday with her remaining family in the UK. Unfortunately, her mother passed away eight years prior.