Monday, July 22, 2019
In 1925, a woman named María of Hagåtña was serving time in prison for the crime of adultery.
María was married to one man, but broke her vow of fidelity to him and had relations with another man. Her betrayal was discovered, and she was tried and sent to prison.
The problem was she was pregnant.
When the child was born, a boy named Ramón, he was not given María's husband's last name, but rather María's maiden name. The child was María's, but not her husband's. Ramón's father's name was left blank on his birth certificate. Perhaps the father was the man with whom María had adulterous relations. But it could have been another, for all we know!
In order to give birth safely, the prisoner María was taken to the Naval Hospital. Once the baby was born, what to do with the baby? The baby could not remain under María's care, as she had more time to serve in prison.
The medical officer at the hospital gave the baby, with María's consent, to a Merizo woman named Dolores. Dolores and her husband José not long after went to court and, again with María's consent, became the legal parents of Ramón.
Why did the medical officer give the baby to Dolores? What was Dolores doing up in Hagåtña? At the hospital? Questions for which I have no answers.
José and Dolores were not relatives of María. They were not even from the same part of Guam. Perhaps they were childless and looked forward to raising the newborn Ramón as their own. Whatever the case, it was an act of charity for the couple to adopt a baby, the son of a woman in prison.