British Columbia

B.C. woman abandoned on hospital doorstep searches for parents one last time

Janet Keall has spent her entire life looking for her biological parents and she is giving it her all one last time before putting the search to rest for good.

38 years have gone by since Janet Keall was left alone in front of a Prince Rupert hospital

Janet Keall is searching for her biological parents once more before putting the search to rest. (Janet Keall)

Janet Keall has spent her entire life looking for her biological parents and she is giving it her all one last time before putting the search to rest for good. 

She's launched a website and is hoping the power of social media can finally help track down her parents. 

It was October 14, 1977 when a complete stranger found her wrapped in only a blanket, abandoned on the back doorsteps outside of a hospital in Prince Rupert, B.C.

The doorway where Keall was abandoned. (Janet Keall)

"From there I was brought into the hospital, checked out and I lived there in a home until I was adopted," she said.

The man who found her had stepped out to smoke a cigarette while his oldest son was being treated for a fever at the same hospital. 

"He walks around and sees this 70's type bedspread kind of moving ever so slightly and figured it must be a bunch of cats and goes over there and what does he see? He sees me, naked inside this bedspread," Keall said. 

"It was quite an emotional experience for him." 

Mystery still remains

While Keall said she has come to terms with being abandoned, she still feels a void. 

She wonders what her parents look like, what their names are and even what her name would've been. 

This photograph of Janet Keall was taken shortly after she was adopted. (Janet Keall)

"With each birthday, with each Christmas it's like, 'Are they thinking about me?' I am thinking about them," she said. 

"What a luxury most people have. You know where you come from and you know your mom and dad are alive and well and they live right down the street."

'Running from yourself'

Keall now lives in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and she's the mother of two boys. She is an advocate for others who have been abandoned.

She said being abandoned conjures up feelings of being unwanted.

"That you're this alien that dropped out of the sky and you're not really supposed to live." 

Janet Keall was 18 years old when this picture was taken. (Janet Keall)

It's a feeling that if not dealt with can be self-destructive and lead to alcoholism, bankruptcy and divorce, she says. 

"You are really running from yourself." 

Keall has helped others find peace and said she also sympathizes with parents who have abandoned their kids. 

"They are desperate that they have to do this. I want these people to come forward, but also feel compassion for them." 

With files from CBC's Daybreak North

To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: B.C. woman abandoned on hospital doorstep searches for parents once last time


  • A previous version of this story said that Janet Keall has one son. In fact, she has two sons.
    Apr 29, 2016 4:22 PM PT


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