I'm A Celebrity 2019: Ajay Rochester Opens Up About Meeting Her Birth Mother
Ajay Rochester has revealed the shocking truth behind meeting her birth mother when she was 22-years-old.
Telling campmate Angie Kent that laws had changed and she was able to find more information about her birth mother, Ajay revealed that her birth mother was much closer than even she had ever imagined.
“I spent my whole life looking for my birth mum,” Ajay told Angie.
After finding out her mum’s name -- Kaylene Rochester -- and that she lived in Orange, NSW, Ajay and her friends began calling every Rochester in the Yellow Pages until they were able to find out where she was.
Eventually, Ajay discovered that she not only knew her birth mother but had worked for her at a dinner theatre for several years.
"Two years before my best friend and her sister worked in a theatre restaurant at the Windsor tavern in Sydney, and I filled in,” Ajay explained.
“The lady who ran it, her name was Kaylene, she was blonde and we used to joke going, ‘She could be your mother, anyone could be your mother!’”
As it turned out, Kaylene from the Windsor tavern in Sydney was indeed Ajay’s birth mum.
In a throwback post on Instagram from 2015, Ajay posted a photo of Kaylene, years before knowing they were even related.
“The sound engineer was my boyfriend,” Ajay wrote in the caption, “We snapped the photo and he said, "you know she could be your mother. Her name is Kaylene’.”
Ajay claims she was part of Australia’s forced adoption practices where unmarried women had their children taken away which saw an estimated 140,000 to 150,000 adoptions between 1950 and 1975.
Many of those adoptions were revealed to be non-consensual, with hundreds to thousands of single or unwed women at the time revealing they were drugged, misled and coerced into giving up their babies.
Although Ajay was reunited with her birth mother, their reunion was cut short and in 1993 Kaylene was found dead.
"Had I gone up and asked her if she ever adopted out a little girl I would have had five years with my mum versus the two I had before her life was cut short,” Ajay wrote in her Instagram caption.
During her time in the jungle, Ajay has shared a lot with her campmates in a short amount of time, bonding with Yvie Jones over size discrimination they face daily as well as the circumstances that almost left her destitute.
“I swallowed my pride and emailed almost everyone I knew and begged for money, I had no other choice,” Ajay told her fellow celebs last week.
“You just survive. You leave all that behind and eventually, it becomes a different part of your life.”