A pensioner in Canada has started a long-distance search for the son she put up for adoption in Angus more than 50 years ago.
Rosemary Aitken, nee Woolner, was 20 when she gave birth at Arbroath Infirmary on August 21 1962 to the son she named Andrew.
Without the support of her parents, and feeling she had no alternative, she reluctantly put her baby up for adoption two weeks later.
More than half a century has passed since then, but Andrew has never left her thoughts.
Now 73 and living in Ontario, she is desperate to be reunited with her son before it is too late.
“Andrew is always on my mind and in my heart,” she said.
“I held off from trying to find him for many years because I thought he might not have known he had been adopted and I didn’t want to upset him or his family.
“But I realise that if I don’t try to find him now I might miss the chance.”
Originally from Aldeburgh in Suffolk, Mrs Aitken joined the Navy in 1959 and was stationed in Malta when she fell pregnant.
Her parents turned their backs on her and she ended up in Arbroath to be near her brother, Peter, who was stationed at RM Condor.
“When my parents found out I was pregnant they didn’t want me,” she said. “I guess it was an embarrassing situation for them in a small town.
“I had to come out of the Navy and I didn’t have a lot of options.
“My brother was part of the fleet’s air arm and living in married quarters at RM Condor.
“I stayed with him and my sister-and-law for the last four months of my pregnancy and gave birth in Arbroath.”
She initially planned to keep Andrew, but her brother was posted on HMS Ark Royal almost immediately after she gave birth and due to be away for more than 18 months.
Her sister-in-law moved back to live with her family and Rosemary had nowhere to go.
“I was left high and dry,” she said. “About two or three weeks after Andrew was born my brother was posted.
“I hoped I could keep Andrew, but it became evident that my parents didn’t want me back with my baby and I had no other support.
“Putting Andrew up for adoption was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I had a terrible time dealing with it.
“I’ve always regretted it, but in those days things were so different.
“All I have left of him is a little blue satin bracelet they put on his wrist in the hospital.”
The adoption was arranged by a social worker called Mrs Fraser before Mrs Aitken returned to her family in Suffolk.
She later married an engineer and they emigrated to Canada in 1966.
She gave birth to three more sons, but part of her heart has always belonged to her eldest.
Last year she contacted Angus Council, which confirmed it has confidential records of the adoption and registered with Birthlink.
In neither case had Andrew contacted them for information on his birth mother.
She obtained a copy of Andrew’s birth certificate from General Register Office in Scotland, which confirmed he was adopted.
“All this time I didn’t want to upset him by informing him he was adopted and he would have known all along,” she said.
“I know that he might be very comfortable in his life and doesn’t want to meet me, but I don’t want to die knowing that he didn’t have the opportunity to connect with me, if he wanted.”
She has asked that anyone with information email firstname.lastname@example.org for the information to be passed on.