Woman looking for biological parents after adoptive mum passes away

Zahara Binte Abdullah, 56, is looking for her biological parents and any siblings she may have.

Photo: Zahara Binte Abdullah

Stomp found a Facebook appeal by her son, Adam Mohamed Ali, who posted a photo of Zahara on Oct 8 at 11.30am with an article written by Lianhe Wanbao.

In the post, he said: "My mum's looking for her biological parents. Please help to share. Thank you!"

Stomp then reached out to Madam Zahara who shared with us her story. 

Madam Zahara, whose birth name was Teo Soi Mui, was born on Oct 15, 1962, at then Kandang Kerbau Maternity Hospital.

Photo: Certificate of Registration of Transferred Child with Madam Zahara's name at birth, Teo Soi Mui

She has no information on the identity or whereabouts of any of her biological family members.

She was born to a Chinese family who gave her away at birth to Madam Zahara's adoptive mother, Habsah Binte Masagos Omar, who passed away in 1999 from cancer.

She said: "I think my biological parents may have given me away because I was born in the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese zodiac. Children born in this year are inauspicious as they are thought to bring bad luck to their families.

"My mother was a midwife and went to many houses in kampongs to help deliver babies. There were many families who did not want their babies, for reasons I am unclear of. She rejected all the babies she was offered, but somehow picked me."

Madam Zahara said her adoptive mother was a recognised midwife who appeared on television because of her outstanding work and long service.

Photo: Adoptive mother, Habsah Binte Masagos Omar (left), Madam Zahara (right)

In an interview with Stomp and Lianhe Wanbao, Madam Zahara said that when she was in Secondary one, she said her teacher asked her why she did not receive subsidies for her school fees, which Malay students were eligible for. 

According to Madam Zahara, her teacher brought it up with the principal who was unsure.

"I asked my mother about it soon after, and she told me I was adopted. She then updated my birth certificate to include the fact that I was adopted," Madam Zahara told Stomp.

Photo: Cerificate of Extract from Adopted Children Register

Madam Zahara added: "My mother was never married. Once, I asked her how come she wasn't married. She told me that if she wanted to marry, she would not have adopted me."

In 1982, Madam Zahara got married. 

She said: "Many years later, in a conversation with my mother about my biological parents' whereabouts, she told me that my biological mother actually came for my wedding and watched from afar.

"I found out that a verbal agreement was made between my adoptive mother and my biological parents, where my biological parents were not allowed to communicate with me.

"So I went and asked my mother's relatives and sisters if they saw a Chinese lady at the wedding, but they couldn't identify anyone because my mother had so many Chinese friends."

"After my mother died, I checked with my family if I should go and look for my biological family. They were all supportive, so I just started looking," she added.

She posted her appeal for information on Facebook, and her post received over 700 shares.

However, no one got back to her.

Photo: Madam Zahara's Facebook Post on Oct 3

She said: "I am thankful that Stomp decided to pick up my story. I hope it will help me get more exposure so that I can find my biological family." 

If you have any information on how to reach Zahara, kindly contact Stomp at stomp@stomp.com.sg or WhatsApp 9384 3761.