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Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace

  • Episode:

    1 of 3

  • Transmission (TX):

    Mon 23 May 2022

  • TX Confirmed

    Yes

  • Time

    9.00pm - 10.00pm

  • Week:

    Week 21 2022 : Sat 21 May - Fri 27 May

  • Channel:

    ITV

  • Published:

    Wed 11 May 2022

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The information contained herein is embargoed from all Press, online, social media, non-commercial publication or syndication - in the public domain - until Tuesday 17 May 2022.

Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace

Series overview

Foundlings are people abandoned as babies, often in the first days and weeks of their lives, who until now have been unable to solve the ultimate mystery of their lives – who they are. Born without trace, with no birth record or name, they have had no way of discovering the basic facts of their identity.

But for over four years, the team behind Long Lost Family has combined genetic genealogy with DNA testing technology to try to help more than thirty foundlings unlock the secrets of their past. All are searching for answers to the most fundamental questions: when’s my birthday; where do I come from; who are my parents and who am I?

Series four of this BAFTA award winning spin off series features six new foundlings and some of our most poignant stories ever. Shockingly, half of those featured are the children of married parents – something no one expected to discover when Long Lost Family set out to make this groundbreaking documentary series. And four foundlings meet full siblings who are able to help explain the struggles their parents faced including extreme hardship, mental health difficulties, social taboos and racism. We also feature the case of Natasha who meets her full sister who surprisingly is also a foundling.

As the stories unfold, the viewer is taken on an extraordinary journey through twists and turns worthy of any drama, but presenters Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell reveal information with sensitivity and compassion and always with the support and expertise of the team of social workers behind the scenes.

Episode 1:

In episode one we meet Andy Hallsworth who was left on church steps over fifty years ago. He knows almost nothing about the circumstances of his birth. We also meet our youngest foundling to date, Natasha Carr who was left in public toilets inside London’s St Thomas’s hospital in 1989.  

All Andy has to verify that he’s a foundling is a single a piece of adoption paperwork saying he was born ‘on or about’ 31st August 1965: ‘I haven’t got anything of my origins. I don’t even know if the 31st August is my birthday. Who found me, nothing.’ Amazingly, Andy sees his original birth certificate for the first time and realises that he was nearly two months old when he was found. Discovering that he spent the first few weeks of his life with his birth mother makes Andy even more determined to trace her ‘that would give me a lot of peace and hopefully her a lot of peace as well’.

***

Like many foundlings, Andy assumes that his birth mother must have been young and alone when she left him. But DNA uncovers the shocking truth that Andy’s birth parents were married at the time. In Ireland, where he meets his birth mother away from the cameras, Andy comes to a deeper understanding of what really happened and finds the peace he’s been searching for.

Meanwhile Natasha was left far more recently and has some incredible mementos from the day she was found: the clothes she was left in. They are the only link Natasha has to her birth mother. Natasha discovers that she was found after only a few minutes of being left in the hospital toilets. Despite this, she still struggles with being a foundling: ‘Why me? sometimes I think what did I do? What did I not do?

Natasha’s roots lie abroad and it’s been one of our toughest searches but after four years there’s an unexpected breakthrough. The team find Natasha’s full sister, Lee-Ann. Shockingly, Lee-Ann is also a foundling left in similar circumstances to Natasha and far from answering the questions about her roots, the discovery of a sister deepens the mystery of Natasha’s beginnings. In a highly emotional meeting, where they compare the stories of their starts in life, Natasha and Lee-Ann vow to continue the search for their birth parents together.