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Blackbeard stole my baby

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Blackbeard stole my baby
Ipotseng & Blackbeard

She gave up the child willingly – Blackbeard’s mother In law

Did the mother of a two-year-old baby give her up for adoption or was it a temporary set-up?

The truth lies somewhere in between as a young mother pleads with the Botswana High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK) and a close ally to former president Ian Khama, Roy Blackbeard to bring back her baby.

Blackbeard may soon find himself in the dock to unravel details of the ‘adoption’ of the two-year-old ‘daughter’, he is accused of stealing by the mother.

The devasted biological mother of the child, Gaone Ipotseng reached out to The Voice newspaper this week to share her frustrations on getting her child back, which she accused Blackbeard of stealing.

Visibly anguished over what she described as a clandestine adoption of her child, Ipotseng, a slim young woman in her mid twenties cried, when she related her story to the Voice reporter.

“I have tried everything to get my child back. I have been to lawyers and to the high court. I honestly don’t know where to turn now because I am afraid time is passing and if I don’t get help soon I may never see my child again,” she sobbed

Ipotseng said her ordeal began when she was a waitress at Ocean basket at Airport junction a year ago.

“At the time I had just given birth and I was having problems with my baby daddy. I was a young girl in the city with no mother,” she explained with teary eyes.

The young mother further said that whilst at work she confided in her boss, the owner of Ocean basket Airport Junction about her problems and it was the owner, identified only as Mma Franch who advised her to “temporarily” give her child away to her daughter.

“She convinced me to give temporary custody of my child to her daughter, Maxine and her husband, the High Commissioner to the UK, Roy Blackbeard. She said they would just raise her for me until such a time that I would be back up on my feet. The idea sounded attractive because I was stranded and overwhelmed as a young mother,” she explained.

Acting out of desperation she agreed to part with her baby for a while and her child was flown out to the UK where the Blackbeard couple has lived for decades.

“They made me sign a guardianship consent form. I was made to believe it was just so they can be legally have temporary custody of the child, not that I was giving my child away permanently,” she said further adding that a year down the line the relationship between her and her toddler’s guardian turned sour.

The Blackbeards, she said attempted to get the baby daddy sign adoption papers without the consent of the biological mother, but he refused and alerted Ipotseng to the plot to steal her child.

“They did not even consult me about that. I have been over the past year trying to sort the issue with them but to no avail, about three weeks ago they were here in Botswana, I tried to go see my child but they refused and they left with her again. I don’t know what to do,” she cried out for help.

At the time of the interview Ipotseng was meeting her lawyers for legal advice.

The Voice team visited Ocean Basket at Airport Junction to talk to Mma Franch and she said, “I know her, she used to work for me. That girl is a liar, I have opened a case with my lawyers, I know of her lies but I want my lawyers to be the ones to talk to the media.”

“She gave up the child willingly, she even signed a consent form, but I don’t want to comment on the issue really. Talk to my lawyers,” she said.

She referred this publication to her lawyers who could only be drawn into confirming the matter and invited The Voice to their office to “have a look at the file.”

The matter continues.