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Woman abandoned as a baby renews search for parents

Janet Keall is renewing the search for her birth parents, and this time she's hoping the reach of social media will help. Keall is Rupert's Baby, abandoned when she was just days old.
Janet Keall was abandoned as a newborn on the steps of Prince Rupert Regional Hospital in 1977. This is a 2004 photo.

Janet Keall is renewing the search for her birth parents, and this time she's hoping the reach of social media will help.

Keall is Rupert's Baby, abandoned when she was just days old. Wrapped in a green bedspread, she was left on the back doorstep of Prince Rupert Regional Hospital in October 1977.

She was later adopted by Jerrilyn and Gordon Keall and raised in Surrey. Now 38, Keall has travelled and volunteered overseas extensively, worked as an executive for a popular sportswear company, and raised two teen boys.

"It's amazing to be with my children. They're my first biological family members that I know of," she said of her sons, aged 13 and 18. "It's like starting a new family tree with them."

It's not the first time Keall has tried to put out a call for information about the people who created her. Numerous stories have been written about her quest over the years, including a story in The Province back in September 2004.

"I did get a lot of responses and it was just a lot of good wishes," she said. "I had two leads, which were really just sort of thoughts. Quite honestly, I've really yet to have a strong lead."

But none of it has stopped her from living a full life — it's simply just a part of her story she'd like to learn one day. If her birth parents are still out there somewhere, Keall would like to meet them.

"I really harbour no negative feelings toward them or any kind of anger or even any kind of sadness toward what they've done," she said. "Something like this, which is so impactful to a person, you kind of have to deal with it in life and I feel that I have done that. I feel quite secure and solid in my life and my identity.

"So I just say to them, quite honestly, I just want to know who they are. It'd be great to meet them and great to have a relationship. They're grandparents and it'd be great to build something, ideally. If not, I just really want to know who they are, who grew me."

Keall's adopted parents, whom she considers her own parents "110 per cent," would also like to thank her birth parents for giving them the chance to be a family as well.

"Even my adoptive mother talks about it often. She says, 'Oh, I'd just love to thank them. Thank them for giving her to us.'"

So if her birth parents are out there, Keall wants them to know she's doing well.

Her latest journey was packing up her home in B.C. and driving across Canada with her partner and two sons, aged 13 and 18, to reach their new home in Prince Edward Island.

"We let the kids decide and they wanted to drive and see Canada, which I think is pretty remarkable," she said Wednesday.

Previously, Keall has volunteered with orphanages in Tunisia, Romania, Nicaragua, and Chile. She's also become an advocate for abandoned children and has spoken at conferences on the topic, and works as an ambassador for Garden of Innocence, a non-profit organization that aids abandoned and unidentified children.

"The biggest piece I've learned from all of this, from travelling and meeting others like me is that you can't hide from your story. You have to honour that."

Anyone with possible information about Keall's birth parents is asked to contact her at, where Keall has documented her journey and search over the years.


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