Melody Teh

News

Fri, 12 Jun, 2015

Woman, 92, adopts 76-year-old cousin after raising her like her own child for more than 60 years

Woman, 92, adopts 76-year-old cousin after raising her like her own child for more than 60 years

Muriel Clayton, 92, was pronounced the legal mother of Mary Smith, 76, by a court in Dallas, Texas, finally fulfilling a lifetime desire to have their bond recognised by law.

Smith was just 11 years old when her father died. Her mother was in a mental hospital so newly married Clayton, 27, took her in. By the time Smith was 14, the arrangement was permanent.

After the decision was finalised, Clayton told Dallas Morning News, “I feel great. This is what I have wanted to do for a long, long time, and now it has come to pass.”

Explaining her motivation: “I'm an old lady, and I work jigsaw puzzles. And I have a big picture of my life – my jigsaw puzzle. But I needed one more piece to make it complete – and this is it.”

Clayton said she wanted to adopt Smith decades ago but would never have suggested it while Smith’s biological mother was still alive.

“She was a sweet lady, a really great lady but she just couldn’t live in the real world,” said Clayton. 

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