Sarah's Mum

Jeff and I had been dating for a couple of years when I found out that I was pregnant. I know it sounds stupid but I just didn't think it would happen to me.

I was only seventeen and Jeff was twenty-two. He told me he was too young to be a father and pressured me have an abortion. He didn't want his mother to find out. She liked me but thought I was too young for him.

I was a bit nervous about telling my parents but they were really great... once they got over the shock. They weren't too happy with Jeff for a while. There were only two months left of school so I was able to finish before most people realised that I was pregnant, which was a plus.

Tony was born three weeks after I turned eighteen. Jeff had told his parents and they visited me and were delighted with Tony who was their first grandson. My parents asked us to wait until I turned nineteen before getting married. They didn't think getting married just because we had a baby was very wise.

We did get married and we had another boy. Jeff was a really terrific dad. Tragically he was killed in a car accident when he was twenty-seven. We still miss him.

About a year later a friend talked me into trying a dating service. I guess I let myself be persuaded because I was lonely.

At first Peter seemed to be a nice enough guy and one evening after I had a couple of drinks I ended up in bed with him. I knew it was a mistake, but after that he expected sex to be a part of our relationship and he got angry with me when I said no.

Everything went sour fast, and when he almost raped me I wouldn't see him any more. He wouldn't accept that it was over and in the end I had to take out a restraining order. Two weeks later, I realised I was pregnant.

Once again my family rallied round and they agreed with my decision to have the baby adopted. My older brother and his wife offered to do the adopting but, in the circumstances I didn't want there to be any chance of Peter finding out he had a child and causing trouble. He was just too unpredictable and, I felt, too violent.

Mum and I went through some profiles that we received from the Adoption Unit and finally decided on a couple who had one other adopted child. I didn't want my baby to be an only child, and the fact that they were agreeable to an Open Adoption was a deciding factor.

It has been a bit difficult emotionally for me, but I know that I made the right choice. Sarah is a beautiful, happy little girl and her adoptive parents love her very much. They told me how grateful they are that I chose them for Sarah.