Press Centre

Long Lost Family

  • Episode: 

    3 of 7

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Wed 09 Aug 2017
  • TX Confirmed: 

    Yes
  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 32 2017 : Sat 05 Aug - Fri 11 Aug
  • Channel: 

    ITV
The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing into the public domain until Tuesday 1 August 2017.
 
Series overview
 
Award-winning documentary series Long Lost Family returns to ITV for a brand new seven-part series, as presenters Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell reunite more family members desperate to find their missing relatives.
 
For thousands of people across Britain, someone is missing from their lives and finding them can seem like an impossible task. Using every technique, from DNA technology to painstaking detective work, the series traces people that no-one else could find, uncovering family secrets and finally answering questions that have haunted entire lives. 
 
With searches extending to Nigeria, Ethiopia, America and Australia, no stone is left unturned as Davina and Nicky bring families back together. 
 
Sadly, not every story can have a happy ending and there are some tragic outcomes. But even when missing family members have passed away, our searchers have been comforted by meeting other family members we’ve discovered. 
 
The new series includes many firsts, including the programme’s first deaf contributor and the first time we’ve ever taken on a search on behalf of a  birth father searching on his own for a child who was given up for adoption. 
 
Episode 3
 
Episode Three features two stories of mothers and sons pulled apart: a man whose mother put him up for adoption through an advert in the local paper; and a woman who adopted two kids after giving up her own son.
 
Steve Belshaw lives in Blackpool, close to where he grew up with his adoptive parents. Steve grew up in a loving family and his adoptive parents first told him he was adopted when he was around 8. Steve didn’t quite understand the whole idea of adoption, so to help him understand, Steve’s parents gave him an envelope of letters from Steve’s birth mother, Frances Unsworth. It was only then that Steve discovered that he had been adopted through an advert in the local paper.
 
Steve’s parents explained that Frances was 17 when she became pregnant with Steve. But while Frances was pregnant, tragedy struck. Steve’s father had been killed in a motorcycle accident. Bereaved and alone, Frances made the decision to give her unborn baby up. She made the extraordinary step of placing an advert in the local paper looking for new parents for her child. Steve’s adoptive parents saw the advert and Frances chose them as Steve’s new parents.
 
Steve says “Knowing that she’d gone through all that trouble to find the most suitable parents she could possibly could find, to me speaks volumes about her character”.
 
Although Steve has never had any contact with Frances, Steve has never doubted his birth mother’s motives for giving him up. He has always wanted to thank Frances for the care she took to secure his future in the face of personal tragedy. Steve says “Her love, her desire to do what was right against what to me is almost insurmountable odds… If I had just one chance it would be to say thank you”.
 
The search begins in Blackpool, the city where Frances gave Steve up for adoption. As Frances was just 18 when she had Steve, Long Lost Family searched marriage records and found a marriage for Frances to a Robert Hall in 1965. Searching under her married name, we sadly discovered that Frances had died in 2004. However, Frances’ death certificate revealed that Frances had another son, Robert Hall, which led to an extraordinary discovery. Robert was not only living in Blackpool, but just one mile away from Steve.
 
Nicky meets Robert, known as Rob, in Blackpool. He is stunned to find out his older half-brother lives just a mile away. Robert says “I just can’t wait to meet him and chat with him”.
 
Steve is told the sad news about his birth mother away from the cameras. Davina travels to meet Steve where she shares a photograph of his birth mother and reveals he has a younger brother. The brothers are re-united in Blackpool’s Stanley Park where they both spent time as children.
 
Steve says “To have a little brother in my life… I never saw this in my wildest dreams”.
 
Also this week we meet Corine Aspland, a woman desperate for her son to understand the choices she had to make. When Corine was 15, she found out that she was five and a half month’s pregnant. When Corine broke the news to her father, he was adamant she was not keeping the baby and didn’t speak to her for six or seven months afterwards. Corine says “I felt as if I let him down, I felt as if I let all my family down”
 
Corine gave birth to her son Mark in March, 1978 and desperately hoped that if her father saw the baby he might have changed his mind. Sadly, 24 hours after her son was born, Corine’s son was taken from hospital and put up for adoption. Corine says “That grief that you feel when you lose that child stays with you forever”.
 
Although the pain of losing Mark never left her, Corine tried to rebuild her life. She married a man called Chris but despite years of trying, was never able to give birth again. In 1998 Corine and Chris made the decision to adopt 4 year old Jason and his 18 month old sister Courtney. Corine says “the love I couldn’t give Mark, I wanted to give to someone else”.
 
Corine has always worried how Mark would feel about her decision to adopt. She reveals “How do you explain to someone that you’ve given them up for adoption and then adopted two other children afterwards?” Despite her fears, Corine has spent years searching for Mark supported by Courtney and Jason: “If I could just see him for once and tell him that I love him with all my heart and that I’m just sorry that I couldn’t keep him … I want to make things right.”
 
After a two-month wait and with the help of a specialist intermediary, legally allowed to access adoption records, Long Lost Family discover that Mark had been adopted by a couple living in Swansea and was now called David Morgan. We searched electoral rolls and found David living in Cardiff. David is a father of three and has lived in Cardiff ever since going there as an undergraduate. He has a PhD in chemistry and teaches at the University where he meets Nicky.
 
David tells Nicky that he felt joy and excitement when he heard the news that his birth mother was searching. Nicky breaks the news to David that Corine went on to adopt two children and David is delighted. David says “I’m happy for her, to know that she had the strength to give children a chance of a good life, that’s made me happy.”
 
Corine is overwhelmed to hear that her son has been found and that he can’t wait to meet her. Corine bursts with pride when she learns that her son has a PhD and teaches at a university. After 39 years apart, David and Corine are re-united in the heart of Swansea. David explains he had a good adoption, a good life and reassures Corine that when he learnt her children are adopted it made him really happy. Corine says “I feel so elated… I just feel whole again.”