Created: 05/06/2014 10:41 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Tina Marie Chase of Albuquerque believes she gave birth to Mary Hawkes in 1994, then naming her Mary Shoup. Chase says she’s speaking out because newspaper reports said Hawkes’ biological parents were dead, and Chase wants to set the record straight.
Because adoption records are sealed, it’s tough to confirm whether Chase really is Hawkes’ birth mom, but she did give birth on the same day Mary was born, and showed KOB Eyewitness News 4 photos she says show Mary at a young age.
“She used to help me clean and do laundry and pick up clothespins and give them to me to hang up clothes,” Chase said.
Chase says she raised Hawkes until she was seven, with her husband AJ.
“We used to live downtown, and we used to water the plants and they used to go play in the trees end up playing mud ducks,” AJ Chase said.
The Chases say in 2006, Mary and her sister were taken by the Children Youth and Families Department. They disagreed with it, but do know there are things they should have done differently.
“Being in a different environment,” AJ Hawkes said. “Probably try to get along a lot better than we did. We had some alcohol problems, and that’s mostly what it was about. We would have been clean and sober.”
Court records show Mary would also eventually experiment with drugs and alcohol, long after she was adopted into a new family. She was arrested for underage drinking in public, and for possession of glue or aerosol spray.
Mary’s friends say she experimented, but was never an addict. They say she was artistic, hopeful and full of potential but, as many New Mexico teens do, faced challenges.
The Chases reached out to KOB after reading in the newspaper that Mary’s biological parents were dead. They say they wanted to set the record straight, for Mary’s memory, and for her biological sister.
“That their mother is still well and alive,” Tina Marie Chase said.
“That we're still together, after 19 years,” AJ Chase said.
They want young parents with similar struggles to be careful.
“We miss 'em,” AJ Chase said. “We definitely do. Not a day goes by we didn't think about them.”
Mary was adopted into a loving home and the parents who raised her after age 7 released a statement saying they want to grieve privately.
The Chases say they’ve gotten clean and are doing better and would love to once again see Mary’s sister, who they say was taken by CYFD and also adopted.