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‘Burger King Baby,’ Conceived in Rape and Spared Abortion, Establishes Relationship with Birth Mom

She was called the “Burger King Baby.” Abandoned in a fast food restroom when she was just three hours old, Katheryn Deprill launched a viral campaign to find her birth mother earlier this month.

On Monday, she came face-to-face with a woman she describes as “very loving,” and learned why the woman felt she had no choice but to leave her baby in a public place.

The birth mother, whose name has not been released, was only 17 when a stranger raped her during a family vacation. Anxious that her parents would not believe she had been raped, she concealed her pregnancy.

Deprill's “mom was raped in a foreign country and gave birth to Katheryn in her bedroom,” explained John Waldron, an Allentown attorney who helped bring the two women together for only the second time in their lives.

Her mother said that she never considered abortion. But she knew she could not raise a child.

Today, it is possible to leave babies at hospitals, fire stations, or other facilities with no questions asked. That wasn't true in 1986. Most states had more rigorous procedures for relinquishing a newborn child, which would not allow the mother to conceal Katheryn's presence from her parents.

Her birth mother took Deprill to a Burger King on South Fourth Street in Allentown on September 15, 1986. She wrapped her snugly in a maroon shirt in the women's room and placed her gently on the floor. “She kissed the baby on the forehead, Katheryn, and left,” Waldron said.

“She left me somewhere she knew I'd be found,” Katheryn added. “She did not want to throw me away.”

After a fast food worker heard her cries, her story went national. In time, she was adopted and went on to become an EMT with three sons of her own. But as her family grew, so did her questions about her history. “I really want to see her and just ask her why and see if I have any brothers and sisters and anyone that looks like me,” Deprill said.

On March 2, she took to Facebook with a plea to help her find her birth mother. Her photo was shared more than 30,000 times, and it succeeded in locating her mother in just 11 days.

The woman contacted Waldron, who held the meeting in his law offices. Deprill drove in from nearby South Whitehall Township, the birth mother from not far away in the Lehigh Valley.

Deprill's adoptive mother, Brenda, and her seven-month-old, accompanied her.

When her mother arrived, "It looked like I was looking in a mirror,” she said.

After Katheryn asked, the woman granted her deepest request. “I got the hug that I had wanted for the last 27 years,” Deprill said, “and that broke the ice.”

Her mother apologized for her desperate teenage actions, and Deprill said she forgave the woman “110 percent, absolutely.”

Part of her aggressive campaign to locate her mom stemmed from her need for medical information. But the meeting formed a new, lifelong relationship between the estranged couple.

According to Waldron, “They're going to stay in contact.”

Deprill said on Tuesday, "I have literally not wiped the smile off my face. I never in a million years thought I'd find her.”

“We are definitely going to have a relationship,” Katheryn said.
[26 Mar 14, Ben Johnson, ALLENTOWN, PA, ]