Rape victim reunited with daughter 80 years on

An American woman who gave her child up for adoption after being raped has been reunited with her – more than 80 years on.

Eileen Wagner, a centenarian from Wisconsin, hid her pregnancy from her parents for as long as she could after being attacked in 1932 at the age of 16.

She eventually went to a home for women planning to put their children up for adoption.

Hello mother

After three months there she left, and heard no more from her daughter until she received a phone call in April.

Dorien Hammann, now 83, called Eileen and said, “Hello mother” when she picked up.

She told the Chicago Tribune: “It is still hard to believe that at my age, my birth mother is still alive”.

“I get chills and goose bumps all at the same time when I think of this.”

Reunion

The mother and daughter exchanged several more phone calls and met in person on 25 April.

Wagner told the newspaper: “I just wanted to know that she was ok, and she had a good life”.

On Sunday, Hammann, her husband, son, daughter-in-law and grandson met with Wagner and her other two children to celebrate her 100th birthday.

Choose Life

In The Christian Institute’s Choose Life series, Lesley McAskie shared her story of rape aged 13 and the abortion that followed.

She told the Institute that the abortion affected her life for 37 years, adding “I got over the rape but I never got over my abortion experience”.

“Think twice. Don’t go into having an abortion because it’s a quick fix – it’s not. That abortion experience will stay with you for the rest of your life. It will haunt you”.

“If a woman finds herself pregnant as a result of rape, she really needs to have some care. She needs compassion, she needs counselling, she needs a great deal of support. She doesn’t need another act of violence in abortion.”

To hear more stories of people whose lives were affected by abortion, visit our Choose Life page.

Related Resources