Desperately Seeking Baby Russell – Now Found!


I don’t normally publish posts like this on our blog but this story has rather pulled at my heartstrings and if I can I’d like to help.

At only 19 years old Rosemarie Dooks was faced with an impossible, heartbreaking choice. A holiday romance had resulted in Rosemarie falling pregnant.  Having lost her beloved father at only 12 years of age Rosemarie turned to her mother for help.

Her mother, a stalwart of the Church and worried what her neighbours would think told Rosemarie she would have to have an abortion and made a Doctors appointment.  Totally distraught at her mother’s reaction Rosemarie refused.

19th March 1971 Russell is born.

It was late 1970 and Rosemarie was sent away to live with a family until Christmas and then after Christmas, she was sent to Heworth House Mother and Baby home in York.  On the 19th March 1971 Rosemarie gave birth to a baby boy at Westow Croft Maternity home, near Malton, North Yorkshire, returning to Heworth House with her son – who she named Russell James Dooks – shortly after.

Rosemarie hoped against hope that her mother would relent and allow her to go home with Russell.  She was “allowed” to keep Russell for just six short weeks after he was born before she knew he was going to be taken away for adoption.  Rosemarie pleaded with the authorities that she would be the one to take him the day he went.  They agreed and the date was set for 23rd April 1971.

The dreaded day arrived.  Rosemarie was sent upstairs to collect something and when she returned down again Russell was gone.  She was never to see him again.  Totally distraught Rosemarie screamed and cried, her heartbroken.

23rd April 1971 Russell is taken for adoption.

Returning home to her mother, Rosemarie took a short time off, secured a job and then began training to be a nurse in York during October 71.

The photo is the only photograph Rosemarie has of Russell.  It was sent to her by the adoptive parents via the adoption agency.  It is precious.

Baby Russell Dooks
Baby Russell Dooks born 19th March 1971.

Could this baby be you or someone you know?  Have you seen this same photograph in a family album?

Russell’s adoptive parents.

Rosemarie has scant knowledge of Russell’s adoptive parents.  At the time of the adoption, his dad was 27.  His dad had fair hair, blue eyes and stood 6’ tall. He also 2 brothers. He was an engineer making precision tools.

Russell’s adoptive mum was 22, 5’6” tall, auburn hair and green eyes.  She had 2 sisters.

The adoption went through a court in Otley.  Did you work with or know a family who adopted a baby boy around this time in 1971? We think the adoption went through around September/October of 1971. Could it have been baby Russell?  Could this couple have been your brother or sister?

Both of Russell’s adoptive parents have passed away.  The last one being in 2008/9.  It is believed that at the time his parents died Russell may have been living in the Australia/New Zealand area – possibly near Tasmania.

If Rosemarie would like Russell to know that her biggest regret is not standing up for herself.  She wants him to know that she never forgot him and hopes he has had a good life. Rosemarie also has some medical information she would like to give him.  She understands he may not want to meet but would love just to have a chat with him.

Russell’s biological family.

Rosemarie was called Rosemarie Hazel Dooks.  She went on to marry in 1974 and Russell has two half-sisters Nicola 45 and Becca 41.  He also has a half brother Daniel who would have been 44 but was tragically murdered in 2003 aged 27.

Do you know Russell or his family?  How to contact us.

If anyone reading this thinks they may know Russell (we don’t know if his birth name was changed) or indeed if Russell should read this please get in touch.  You can contact us in the first instance by emailing me, Sharon on the following email address:

If you don’t want to email you can also contact us by leaving a comment on this post.

We would appreciate all the shares we can possibly have on this post, please.


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