Exclusive: Joni finds her long-lost child

Daily Express
April 3, 1997

Singing star Joni Mitchell has traced her long-lost lovechild after an agonizing search. The daughter she gave up for adoption shortly after she was born 32 years ago is now a beautiful model said to have her mother's looks. The two wept during a reunion as they started to make up for lost years. "It's true. Joni's found her daughter. She is very, very pleased," said the star's mother, Myrtle Anderson.

Joni, 53, hired private detectives and made TV appeals as she desperately searched for the child born in Toronto in February 1965. The singer launched her hunt as she suffered a relapse of polio symptoms. Tough confidentiality laws in the province of Ontario had blocked access to records in her efforts to find the daughter she had named Kelly.

When the quest became public it was complicated by false claims. Now, however, her real child, whose identity has been kept a secret, has emerged. Myrtle, 84, said the breakthrough came because the girl had begun her own search for her unknown mother. The girl's father, Brad MacMath, 56, a Toronto photographer, broke three decades of silence when he told The Express of their year-long romance as art students in Calgary in the Sixties. She was the unknown Joan Anderson and her career - which brought hits like Big Yellow Taxi and Woodstock - had yet to take off. When she fell pregnant the couple moves so their families would not know.

In a recent interview, Joni said she had longed to keep her daughter, but could not afford to. "I was dirt poor," she said. "It was difficult parting with the child, but I had to let her go." MacMath and Joni split soon after their move. She has been married twice and is in the throes of her second divorce. She lives in Saskatoon and spends as much time painting as with her music.

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