Connect with us

Phuket

British woman reunited with birth mother decades later in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: A British national, born to an Aussie mining-site manager and a Thai woman in 1960 and then given up for adoption six months later, was reunited with her birth mother in Phuket after 54 years apart.

Kimberley Ferreira, 54, was able to hold her 79-year-old mother, Yoklern Jankaew, in her arms for the first time yesterday due to the help of many Thai people and a three-month search that took her from Koh Pha Ngan to Phang Nga province, and finally to Phuket.

“I was contacted yesterday [Thursday] and told that my daughter was coming to see me. I was surprised and confused, as only a few people knew that I had a daughter,” said Ms Yoklern.

“But as they gave me more information, I started to believe that it was true.”

Mrs Ferreira showed up at Ms Yoklern’s doorstep with her husband Carlos and documentation proving who she was.

“I was told [many] years ago by my adoptive parents, who have since passed away, that my real mother was in Thailand. I have wanted to meet her ever since, but I didn’t know how to start,” Mrs Ferreira said.

Her search began, mistakenly, in Koh Pha Ngan in September.

“I misunderstood, thinking that Pha Ngan and Phang Nga were the same place. I was upset when I realized that I was in the wrong area – I almost lost hope,” Mrs Ferreira explained.

However, Kingkaew Yoopakdee, an employee at the Pha Ngan resort in which Mrs Ferreira was staying, stepped up and offered to help.

“I met Mrs Ferreira while she was staying at the resort and knew that she was looking for her mother. I could see how badly she wanted to meet her, so I offered to help,” said Ms Kingkaew.

“I contacted the Takuapa district office in Phang Nga province, but I was asking for private information, so they refused to give it to me.”

Ms Kingkaew informed Ms Ferreira that she would need to contact the Takuapa district office herself in order to obtain information about her mother.

“I was informed about a woman who was searching for her mother, Ms Yoklern, in Takuapa. We started searching ourselves, and found out that Ms Yoklern had moved to Phuket with her son,” said Cherdchai Pattamayutanon, village headman of Takuapa Moo 5.

“I heard that her son was working on a fishing boat in Rassada. Luckily, one of my cousins works in the same place, so I believed I could find Ms Yoklern easily.”

Eventually, Mr Cherdchai was able to track down an address for Ms Yoklern.

“We worked very hard to find Ms Ferreira’s mother,” he said.

Ms Kingkaew even took time off work to be with Ms Ferreira at the last leg of her emotional journey, which culminated in the reunion yesterday.

“They were hugging and crying the whole time they were together. They were able to have a conversation in English,” Mr Cherdchai said.

After Ms Yoklern and Ms Ferreira said their tearful hellos, Ms Yoklern told her daughter that she looked like her Australian father, who had left Thailand many years ago.

“The last thing I heard about my daughter was that her adoptive mother was taking her to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,” Ms Yoklern said.

She explained that she had been working as a maid for an Australian man who was a manager on a mining site off Phang Nga when she became pregnant with his child.

“We had a daughter together, named Tok-Ta. He already had a wife, so I named my brother as the father on the birth certificate,” Ms Yoklern said.

When Tok-Ta, now Kimberley Ferreira, turned six months old, Ms Yoklern gave her to a woman named Kim and her husband, who was also working on the mining site.

“Madame Kim [the adoptive mother] and her husband were my friends and were unable to have children. They loved Tok-Ta and promised that they would take very good care of my child,” said Ms Yoklern.

“I was uncertain of my future, and knew that she would have a better life and more opportunities with them.”

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism40 mins ago

TAT announces 1,500 travellers arriving in Phuket July 1

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

5 million Moderna vaccines for Thailand, half of expectation

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 3: Are countries helping Thailand?

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 2: Will your country give a vaccine?

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 1: Should you travel to Thailand?

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Lockdown for BKK? Demonstrations back on, Pathum Thani shooter arrested

Thailand6 hours ago

Myth busted: Drinking alcohol does not kill Covid-19 – VIDEO

Phuket7 hours ago

Power outages coming to Kathu, again

Tourism8 hours ago

List of countries by Covid-19 risk level, classified by Thailand’s DDC

Thailand8 hours ago

Legalised marijuana up next? Courts get closer to legalising kratom

Phuket9 hours ago

Phuket police raids nab suspects for allegedly having guns, drugs, kratom

World10 hours ago

Antivirus legend John McAfee apparent suicide in Spanish prison

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: 4,108 new cases; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Bar girls in Pattaya arrested for allegedly violating Covid restrictions while live streaming

Protests11 hours ago

Gathering for 89th anniversary of constitutional monarchy

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending