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Long Lost Family Born Without Trace

  • Episode:

    3 of 3

  • Transmission (TX):

    Wed 26 May 2021

  • TX Confirmed


  • Time

    9.00pm - 10.00pm

  • Week:

    Week 21 2021 : Sat 22 May - Fri 28 May

  • Channel:


  • Published:

    Wed 12 May 2021

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Long Lost Family Born Without Trace

Series overview

The BAFTA-nominated programme returns for a third series, as presenters Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell reveal more astonishing stories of foundlings desperate to discover their identities and meet birth family, after a lifetime of not knowing where they came from.

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

Over the last four years, the team behind Long Lost Family has combined cutting-edge genetic genealogy with DNA testing technology to try to help more than 30 foundlings unlock the secrets of their past.

The stories in this brand new series span five decades: from a woman left over 70 years ago on a luggage rack of a train in Paddington station, to a young man left in toilets near a football stadium in Wolverhampton as recently as 1989.

Episode 3

In episode three we meet 31-year-old Steve, who was left in public toilets near a football stadium in Wolverhampton, and Sarah Dunkley, whose mother disappeared from the hospital after giving birth, without a trace.

At the time Steve was found near the stadium, he was named after Wolverhampton Wanderers’ star player of the moment, Steve Bull. From an early age Steve’s adoptive parents told him about his abandonment, but despite a public appeal, he has grown up with no information about who left him and why. Steve says: “I was just the baby who was found. My history before is 100% unknown.”

In this programme, the truth is finally discovered and he finds out about his birth mother’s desperate situation…

Many foundlings like Steve are left to be discovered in public places like toilets or phone boxes, but uniquely amongst the foundlings who have approached the programme, Sarah Dunkley was actually born in a hospital. Sarah even has records of her birth at the hospital and a description of her birth mother, but tragically her mother disappeared the day after she was born. Intriguingly Sarah’s mother gave a false name and false addresses on the records, so Sarah is no nearer to finding out who she is.

Sarah says: “After she disappeared from the hospital they tried to trace her and came to the address (she had given) but found it was a derelict building…I think she was probably in a desperate place, maybe scared, maybe it was a pregnancy that was a secret to her closest family? It would be amazing to know what happened, hopefully somewhere somebody can tell me.

With further detective work the search unveils the identity of both of their parents and the story behind their abandonment.