My Adoption Story and Origin Search
Josep Delfin Berard
I was adopted in Quebec by a Cuban family.
Rafael and Margarita are a Cuban couple who adopted me. In the 1950s, my parents were friends with the British ambassador to Cuba, who had just adopted a child in Quebec. They had thought about this option and when they met the ambassador, they finally made their decision. After having fulfilled all the requirements for adoption and ready to travel to Quebec, Rafael’s father passed away, forcing them to postpone their trip. Soon after Margarita’s father died, which extended the trip out even further.
In February 1956, they managed to make their trip to Quebec and went to visit the Creche Saint-Vincent-de Paul. Upon arrival, they are greeted by Sister Philipe and taken to a small room where they already have two children so that Rafael and Margarita can decide which one to adopt. Both are very excited with the children of the institution. The nun takes them around the orphanage to show them the work they do. As they walk down the corridors, a boy catches their attention, smiling at Margarita and holding out his arms as if asking him to take him. Margarita takes the boy in her arms and when trying to return him to the nun who took care of it, the boy clings tightly to her dress and does not want to let go. Margarita take this as a signal, and they start to investigate more about this child to adopt him. In addition to determining that the child was available for adoption, they learn that he was born the same day and month as Rafael’s brother who had passed away a while back. Another sign that solidifies their decision to adopt this child.
The boy who had been given the name of Joseph Delphin Berard, by his birth mother, was given the name of Gustavo de Jesús when adopted. They returned to Cuba where Rafael and Margarita became spokespersons for adoption, helping twenty-four families adopt and later a last family in Puerto Rico where they relocated to in the early sixties.