A picture of Teanna Elliot with her daughter (Photo courtesy of Teanna Elliot)

A picture of Teanna Elliot with her daughter (Photo courtesy of Teanna Elliot)

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

A Kelowna resident known as “Baby Mary” has finally discovered who her birth parents are after more than thirty years.

Back in 1987, Elliot was just a baby when two teenagers found her in a green garbage bag tucked away in the corner of a Calgary shopping centre. Still covered in blood and attached to her umbilical cord, Elliot’s story garnered national media attention and she was quickly given the nickname “Baby Mary.”

After receiving treatment as a baby, Elliot was adopted by a loving family who soon moved to Kelowna for work.

While Elliot’s parents were always open about her adoption, she was determined to one day find her biological parents – a quest that would take her two decades to complete.

“I was about 12 and I started to ask my mom questions about a photo of me in a baby book,” said Elliot, who is now 32 years old.

“At that point, she couldn’t hide much about it anymore.”

READ MORE: B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Despite previous searches for her birth parents, an Ancestry DNA test taken by Elliot turned out to be the breakthrough she was looking for.

Two years after taking the test, a friendly message from a distant family member on the site finally helped Elliot reconnect with her father.

“I got a message on the site from someone who said we share grandparents and I thought, this is huge,” said Elliot.

After Elliot’s cousin helped lead her to her biological dad in Calgary, the two flew to Kelowna to meet Elliot last May for the first time.

“We had a few meetings together and it was emotional and surreal. To look at these two people, I found traits from both my aunt and dad that I had.”

“The conversation flew naturally. You basically have thirty years to catch up with someone for the first time.”

Elliot also found her mom with the help of a genealogist shortly after. While Elliot still hasn’t met her biological mom yet, she said she’s glad to just be talking with one another.

“It still a working relationship with my mom. We’re asking very surface level things when messaging each other right now,” said Elliot

“It could be two years before I meet her. I’m honestly just letting her process everything right now.”

Elliot said there’s been two big reasons for her to find her biological parents.

“One inspiration was my adopted parents. They’ve been nothing but supportive,” said Elliot.

“Another reason was because of my daughter. I want to make sure her life is perfect. If there are any health issues in our family, I want her to know that.”

According to the Adoption Council of Canada, there are around 30,000 children and youth in government care who are looking for permanent families.

READ MORE: Kelowna woman embarks on search for birth mother


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@kelownacapnews.com

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