Jamaican woman searches for son stolen 29 years ago

Jamaican woman searches for son stolen 29 years ago
Nicolene Downer
Nicolene Downer

(JAMAICA STAR) – Every August, Nicolene Downer goes in a state of depression. It is the birth month of her first born, a son whom she says she only got a chance to bond with for two months.

Downer said that the boy was taken from her and given up for adoption, illegally. She has not stopped looking for him.

“He is never far from my thoughts. He wasn’t registered but his name was Gavaska Downer. I often wonder what he looks like. He was born on August 23, 1991, and on every birthday I wonder how he is doing. I never registered my child with RGD, so I want to know who did so he could get adopted. I want to know who signed the document for him to be adopted. The system stole my son away from me,” she said.

Downer stated that she was just 14 years old when she got pregnant. She was living in the community of Gutters, St Catherine, at the time. “During days, I would be here and there but at nights I would sleep with the father of my child at the place where he was working,” she told THE STAR.

She said that her son’s father was arrested and charged for carnal abuse and she was placed in state care.

“The baby was taken to another section of the home and I would only see him every other day to breastfeed him,” she said.


Downer told THE STAR that shortly after being placed in state care she was told by a woman, who identified herself as a police officer, that she had a court hearing that day.

“She told me it came up suddenly and I should be at court by 3:30 p.m. They said the police would pick me up and that I would not carry the baby because they did not get a chance to prepare the document that gives me permission to leave with the child, but I shouldn’t worry, I will see him when I get back. But I never laid eyes on my son ever again,” she said.

“I was never taken to court that day, I was tricked. I was taken to Woodland Road in Mandeville where I was held against my will with two old people there. I was only allowed to come out the room at nights when the house was locked up, so I couldn’t get away. I was there about five months,” she said.

Downer said that when she questioned the home about her child she was told that they were not aware of my case and I left.

“In 2001, after going on a radio programme to see if I can find out if anyone knows about my case, I received a phone call from a man who said he worked with a government agency that dealt with children,” she said.

Agreeing to a meeting with the man, Downer said she was told that her son was given up for adoption, illegally, to a Jamaican-born couple in Canada years earlier.

“Up to this day, I don’t know who took my son or anything. I was broken when I was told that he was given away because I never gave away my child and under the circumstances. I want to find him and I am begging the Government to intervene because I will not stop until I find out exactly what happened. He will be 29 this year and my biggest dream is to meet him, ” Downer said.


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