Black Market Adoption
My name is Linda Williams; my first husband, Harvey Byford and I lived in Wilson, Oklahoma. I gave birth
to a baby boy on Jan. 26, 1970. I was sixteen, and he was twenty; we had lived there 3 months (by the time I went) into labor. I was 7 months pregnant. Dr R. there in Wilson was my Dr. She sent me to an osteopathic hospital in Ardmore, Oklahoma. I went to the hospital on Jan 25 at 11 am.
I was in hard labor and was refused pain medication because I was told it would harm the baby. On Jan. 26th at 4:50 am, I delivered a baby boy, or I was told by the Dr it was a boy. I was awake during the birth, and upon delivery I asked what I had. The Dr told me it was a boy. I then ask if he had any hair, and she said no; it is a little bald headed boy. I was then put to sleep.
When I awoke around 8 am that same day, I was told by the nurse that my baby had died at birth. We had a graveside service at Wilson, Oklahoma
that same day at 1 pm. No one ever saw the baby; the funeral director said I was too weak to get out of the car, so me, my husband, and grandmother sat in the car. All I saw was a little white casket with a handle on top, and that is how the funeral director carried it. He told us that a family
there in Wilson had donated the foot of their family grave for our baby to be buried in since we didn't have any money, which made us very thankful. There was a pastor there and later that day, he came by our house to pray for me. That was the last time I saw the pastor.
On Jan. 30th I went in to see the Dr for my check up. I asked her what my baby died from. She said he was premature and he weighed 1 lb 15ozs and was 13" long. She said he wouldn't have been normal if he had lived.
We had a daughter that was 8 months old at the time, and the Dr told me that I should be thankful that I had her. My husband and I got a divorced, and we moved. We never went back to the cemetery after we buried our baby, how I wish I had. I wouldn't be writing this letter today.
Now 31 years later, my daughter and I went to Wilson to put a headstone on his grave. We stopped by the funeral home in Wilson to find out what lot he was buried in. The man who owned the funeral home in 1970 had died and someone else had it now. It still had the same name. The lady got out the records, and she couldn't find him. She said I must have the wrong funeral home. I told her this was the only one in town at the time. She said it still was the only one in town. We looked at the record book 3 times and couldn't find him. She said a couple came in a few days ago from California
looking for their baby's and there was no record of theirs. I asked her if the Dr was still there. She said the Dr had a practice across the street.
I went over and told the nurse that I wanted to pick up my Records. She said she would find them and call me. Two days later I called them back and talked to the Dr. She told me she didn't deliver my baby, because she didn't use Ardmore Hospital. She used Healdton Hospital in Healdton, Oklahoma. I told her I knew she delivered my baby and hung up. I went to the State Dept. of Health in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and got a death certificate. It stated that Dr. R did deliver my baby.
Then I got a shock of my life: my baby wasn't buried on the 26th, he was buried on the 28th. Now whose funeral did I go to on the 26th? That means they had my baby in the funeral home 2 days and they have no record of it. I didn't think so; I called the Dr back and told her she did deliver my baby and I wanted my records. She said she would look again for my records but she didn't understand why I didn't see my baby when he died.
She said the funeral home fixed them up nice for the family to view. The nurse called me back, said they found my records and it wasn't much. I was told I owed an outstanding bill that would need to be paid before I could pick my records up. I asked how much I owed, and she said $35. I told her I would be there to pick them up.
What I received was a white typing paper that was handwritten. She wrote: on Jan 25th 1970 went to hosp. lost baby.
Baby was underlined. The next entry on Jan 30 said: light flowing, abdominal exercises, check in with me, continue iron and vit.
That was the last time I saw the Dr. I have tried to talk to the Dr, but every time I call, the nurse says she is busy. I will look for my baby until the day I die. I may not ever find Him, but he will always be in my heart. I feel like we were young and poor and were taken advantage of by a Dr and a funeral home. If someone had donated part of a grave, I think there would have been a record of it. Please help if you can, and do you know of another case like this? I have also made three trips to Wilson to talk to the Dr and can't get past the nurse.
© Linda Williams, 2003