Birth paper nightmare – Woman still searching for mom, Claudette, after 27 years

Melissa Shakers Grant, at 31 years old, does not know her mother and father, and does not have a birth certificate.

She told The Beacon that she has made several trips to the Registrar General’s Department, but the uncertainty regarding her mother’s surname has proven to be an insurmountable hurdle.

“I don’t know my mother last name; that is what is beating me,” she said.

Melissa noted that she has missed several opportunities to travel and to improve her life because she does not have the crucial document.

“That is holding me back in life,” she declared. “I don’t know if I was registered, but I know I don’t have a birth certificate.”

Melissa’s nightmare started when she was four. That’s 27 years ago when her mother – known only as Claudette, left her with a friend identified as Charmaine Broderick from Waterhouse in Kingston.

It is said that the mother once returned for the child, but, by that time, Charmaine, who is now deceased, had given the child to a friend in St Mary. That St Mary friend, known as Miss Patsy, now lives in the United States.

The mother, in the meantime, was an exotic dancer in an area called Riverside, near Flat Bridge in the Bog Walk Gorge, St Catherine.

She is said to be from either Bog Walk or Spanish Town.

Melissa told The Beacon that she would be elated to know her mother – not only for the purpose of a birth certificate.

“I would feel good to know mi have a mother and I see how she look,” she said. “I don’t feel good especially on my birthday and on Christmas or Mother’s Day when people normally get together.”

Melissa, who stated that her estimated date of birth is 8 May 1988, explained how she ended up with the name Melissa Shakers Grant. “That’s the name my mom gave to Charmaine and Charmaine gave to Miss Patsy,” she said.

Melissa, in the meantime, said she doesn’t know her father, but she vaguely remembers a Kingston man who could be her dad.

“When I was four, I was around a man, but I can’t remember if he was my father. He used to take care of me – like comb my hair and stuff like that when I was four. I can remember that, but I don’t know him. They used to call him Samba; they said mi father name Samba,” she explained.

Melissa, after searching without success over the years, is hoping this appeal will bring her a birth certificate, her parents and eventual closure.

By Horace Mills, Journalist


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