The Book of Jayne

Here are excerpts from the social worker’s letters to my mother and to my Dad, formed into a poem. I originally used this as part of a writing and photography self exploration class I offer. It was put in a Japanese stab-bind book, thus the title, The Book of Jayne, Jayne being my birth name, which my mother gave me and which I kept through foster care and which my Mum and Dad discarded. The poem:


to the mother or other person

having charge of the child.

I hereby certify

I have received

Adoption of Children, Explanatory Memorandum,

from which I                                                                 detach. Your baby

in the care of one

of our foster mothers. You will require to pay

two pounds per week towards her

maintenance. I do hope you are feeling

better now that you have returned



baby passed

                                                                                     is now fit

for adoption


or not

you still wish her                                                          to go.

                                                                                     Sign the form of consent.

I do hope 

                                                                                     This is convenient.

We have permission – 

a certificate signed

by baby’s mother.


Call to collect baby                                                       I shall be glad

to have a note of the new names

you intend to give


                                                                                     Yours Sincerely


                                                                                     Assistant Children’s Welfare Supervisor



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