PEI

P.E.I. woman abandoned at birth finds half-brother after 38 years

A Charlottetown woman abandoned as a baby has had a major breakthrough — after sharing her story in the media, Janet Keall has found a half-brother who was also abandoned not far from where she was left on the steps of a B.C. hospital.

'Now I have some peace,' says Janet Keall of Charlottetown

Janet Keall, who was abandoned as a newborn in Prince Rupert, B.C., and now lives in Charlottetown, has finally found her half-brother. (Janet Keall/Twitter)

A Charlottetown woman abandoned as a baby has found a half-brother who was also abandoned not far from where she was left on the steps of a B.C. hospital.

Janet Keall located her long-lost brother after sharing her story in the media. DNA testing has confirmed they are siblings.

For 20 years, Keall has been searching for her birth parents, and in April launched a website seeking information.

"Some moments I find myself in tears, and then other times I really am so happy that I just can't believe it," Keall told CBC Radio Maritime Noon host Norma Lee MacLeod from her home in Charlottetown. 

Her brother, said Keall, is not interested in being in the public eye, although she did tweet a photo of him. His name is Kevin, he is a year-and-a-half younger than Keall and still lives in B.C.

'Having a great life'

"He has a wife and children, so I'm an aunt for the first time!" she laughed. "He's having a great life."

Kevin was left in the stairwell of an apartment, Keall said, and was happily adopted quickly. 

Kevin had not been actively searching for his birth family, but last month one of his friends heard Keall's pleas in an interview on CBC radio and encouraged him to get in touch with her. Kevin emailed Keall, and things happened quickly. 

"Two hours later we were on the phone. We talked for an hour, we had so many similarities — but of course, I'm saying to myself, 'Don't read into that, you're excited' — trying to pull back," Keall said.

In discussing their health, the two discovered they had a similar genetic trait. That was the deciding factor — they agreed to DNA testing with a private company. The test came back last Thursday, she said — there's a 97.3 per cent certainty they're half-siblings. 

Could there be more? 

Keall and her half-brother believe they may have more siblings abandoned by their mother — they've heard of another woman, Kathy, from B.C.'s Lower Mainland who was also abandoned. 

Keall has not yet met Kevin or Kathy. 

"I'm not going to give up on this," Keall asserts. "I have asked local law enforcement in Prince Rupert to help. And we're really going to try and find Kathy."

Keall and Kevin still hope to locate their mother, whom they know nothing about, but Keall admits to having mixed feelings about it.

"I'm not saying that I feel ill will towards her right now, but I am going through a lot of emotions."

"Now I have some peace," she added. 

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