At 57, she is looking for her biological family

Madam Amedah Osman (far right) with her adoptive mother, Madam Ruminah Jaafar. Above, the birth certificate which states Jalan Besar as the address of her biological parents.
Madam Amedah Osman (right) with her adoptive mother, Madam Ruminah Jaafar.ST PHOTOS: LIM YI HAN
Madam Amedah Osman (far right) with her adoptive mother, Madam Ruminah Jaafar. Above, the birth certificate which states Jalan Besar as the address of her biological parents.
Above, the birth certificate which states Jalan Besar as the address of her biological parents.ST PHOTOS: LIM YI HAN

Before she was even a month old, she was given up for adoption because her biological parents were too poor to take care of her.

Born Yap Mui Siang, she was the eighth child of her parents, Mr Yap Soi Tee and Madam Ong Guet Hua. She was given to Mr Osman Sarpan and his wife Ruminah Jaafar, who were introduced to her family by a nurse.

They gave her a new life and name - Amedah Osman.

Now 57, Madam Amedah is looking for her biological family.

Speaking to The Sunday Times at her Choa Chu Kang Crescent flat, the housewife, who spoke in Malay, said: "I've been wondering about this for a long time, but I didn't know where to start looking.

"I'm really curious to know what they are like."

The mother of four grown-up children, the youngest of whom is 23, only found out that she was adopted when she was 12. That was when she had to submit her birth certificate to get her identity card, she said.

"But I was not sad as I'm close to my adopted family. They have never treated me any differently."

Madam Ruminah, 78, said she adopted the girl in 1958 because she felt sorry for her. She also wanted a daughter, as she had three sons then. Her husband died in 2003.

"Back then, it was quite common to give children up for adoption," she said. "I remember her father was very old so he may not be around anymore, but I hope she finds her birth mother."

According to birth documents, Madam Ong was 38 when she gave Madam Amedah away. Mr Yap's age was not stated. They had lived in Jalan Besar.

But Madam Amedah, whose husband is a 63-year-old security guard, has not thought of what to say if she meets her biological family members. "I haven't thought that far. I just hope to find my parents or my siblings. After all, we are related by blood."

Lim Yi Han

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 27, 2015, with the headline 'At 57, she is looking for her biological family'. Print Edition | Subscribe