A BROMSGROVE chiropodist has been reunited with his natural mother against all odds after learning of the scandalous tale that lead to his ‘fictional’ birth certificate.
Adrian Kriss, now aged 54, was told he was adopted when he was 12-years-old and in 2001 began the search for his mother, who he believed was named Joan Bally.
After chasing every lead and investigating the address and names on his birth certificate, Adrian began to lose hope he would ever find his biological family.
But then on March 25 he received a call from a lady who had seen a video about hIS search and said she was his cousin. The woman knew his mother and told him he had been looking for the wrong person.
“I was in disbelief. I had become resigned to the fact I would never find my real mother. It’s been quite life changing,” said Adrian.
“I was in total shock when I heard my mother’s real name. I had spent years tracing the name and address on my certificate and even had DNA tests done with someone who used to live there.”
His mother, Rita Levy, had fled Germany in the Second World War and came to the UK with her sister. Both her parents had died during the Holocaust and, unable to settle in England, Rita went to America aged 15 to find her grandmother, leaving her sister with her new family.
“For me to hear that my real grandparents died in the Holocaust at a very young age is very difficult. It is such a shame that happened to my mother. Before I was not connected to it and it did not mean as much as it does now. It’s been a big shock.”
Years later, Rita had two children and separated from her husband. She then began a relationship with a married man. In 1961 she became pregnant and feared her husband would take her two children if he found out. She flew to England to ask her sister to take care of the baby but she was not able to.
She turned to the synagogue and the Rabbi said he knew a family who had already adopted two children. She did not know the parents and was not given their names but the Rabbi assured her they would take care of her child.
Adrian was born in September and for fear of her husband finding out about the baby, Rita used a fake name on the birth certificate, Joan Bally, and added a false address.
“My birth certificate is a total piece of fiction. At the time, 1961, being pregnant with another man’s baby was quite scandalous so she made up the name Joan Bally. Which is very similar to the man she was in love with, John Bellow.
Rita returned to America and eventually moved to Berlin with her other children.
Adrian flew his mother over to England earlier this year and thanked her for giving him a good life.
“My mother gave me the childhood she never had, to be raised in the faith that was taken from her as a child.
“It’s been an emotional time for me and I feel relieved to finally know where I come from.
“I am meeting more and more people who I knew nothing about and they have so welcoming and haven’t treated me like an illegitimate child. I feel like a member of the family they have just found.”