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Long Lost Family

  • Episode:

    6 of 7

  • Transmission (TX):

    Mon 22 Jul 2019

  • TX Confirmed

    Yes

  • Time

    9.00pm - 10.00pm

  • Week:

    Week 30 2019 : Sat 20 Jul - Fri 26 Jul

  • Channel:

    ITV

  • Published:

    Wed 10 Jul 2019

The information contained herein is embargoed from all Press, online, social media, non-commercial publication or syndication - in the public domain - until Tuesday 16 July 2019.

 

Episode 6

 

In the last year over 4000 people from across the UK have contacted the Long Lost Family team asking for help to find missing family members. In this brand new seven-part series, Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell return and, with the help of trained intermediaries, DNA experts and investigators from all over the world, they find people that previously couldn’t be traced and answer questions that have haunted entire lives.

 

The series will feature more extraordinary stories with unexpected twists and turns, including Long Lost Family’s oldest ever searcher at the age of 83, who is desperate to find her daughter before it’s too late. New searches will take the team to locations including Chicago, Brisbane, Belfast and Canada. And for the first time the series will feature a missing person story without a resolution, by making an emotional appeal. 

 

Episode 6 follows two adoptees on a journey to find acceptance. One man, whose feelings of rejection have consumed him for over 20 years, and a woman holding off her wedding until she finds her birth mother.

 

The first story comes from Rochdale, and a man who’s been living under the shadow of his adoption his entire life.

 

Thirty-four-year-old Martin Smith grew up in a loving home in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, with his adoptive parents Margaret and David. His parents have always doted on him, and paid for him to attend a private school. It was at this school that Martin first realised he was adopted. 

 

Martin says: “One day the class was looking at baby photos of each other and there wasn’t any of me.”  His classmates asked Martin why he didn’t have any photos of himself as a baby. 

 

Martin adds: “That’s the strongest memory that I have of the realization that adoption is different to other people.”

 

The realisation hit Martin hard, and from this point on, he struggled with his feelings about his adoption. He says: “Unless you’ve been through the years and years and every day of questioning who you are, you’d never understand what that feels like.”

 

As a teenager Martin rebelled, and pushed away those close to him, including his adoptive parents.

 

He didn’t ask any questions about his birth mother, despite his adoptive mum Margaret having some information from his paperwork. At the age of 17 without any explanation to his parents, Martin packed his bags and left home.

He says:  “I didn’t speak to my parents for nearly two years. I suppose, to a certain extent, I was taking control of something that I couldn’t control.” 

 

Eventually Martin made contact with his parents again and he now enjoys a good relationship with them. Long Lost Family follows Martin as he speaks to his adoptive parents for the first time about this difficult period in his life.

He says:  “In my head, it was that I was rejected as a child and I couldn’t get past that.” 

 

His adoptive mother, Margaret, says: “It broke my heart. If you had told me I could have probably helped.” 

 

Martin went on to get married to his wife Laura and settle close to where he grew up. It’s only now, with the encouragement of his parents and his wife, that Martin has dared to try and find out more about his birth mother. 

 

Martin approached Long Lost Family with the information Margaret had given him about his birth mother. Despite having both a name and date of birth from Martin’s adoption paperwork, an intensive search couldn’t find any record of her after his adoption.   

 

What had happened to her? The Long Lost family team decided to go back a generation and search for Martin’s grandmother. They discovered someone, who, despite having a different name, had the correct date of birth and was living at an address linked to Martin’s grandmother. Long Lost Family got in touch and confirmed, this was Martin’s birth mother.

 

Martin’s birth mother was happy to meet Nicky, but wished to remain anonymous. In the film she is voiced by an actor and her identity remains confidential.

 

Martin’s birth mother tells Nicky an emotional story of her struggle to keep Martin. Aged just 16 and homeless, Martin’s birth mother tried everything she could to make it work. 

 

She says: “I was literally begging people for money.. I could barely get nappies some days.”

 

She had Martin for six months but, after having to sleep in a park, she decided that the best thing for Martin was to put him up for adoption, so that he might have the opportunity of a life that she couldn’t give him.

 

She says: “I can’t tell you what it’s like having to walk away, watching your child go in a different direction. It literally rips your heart out.” 

 

Martin and his birth mother meet in a hotel on the outskirts of Manchester.

Martin says: “I’ll never ever own those feelings of rejection again. And now I just feel like it’s a new beginning for everyone.” 

 

The second story is on behalf of a woman desperate to find her birth mother so she can begin the rest of her life.

 

Anne Jordan grew up in Surrey, the adopted daughter of Ronald and Barbara Jordan. She had a really happy childhood and was very close to her parents. 

 

She says: “My adoptive parents were just really special. I’d always felt loved and wanted.” 

 

Anne was told she was adopted at a young age, and never thought much about her birth family until, tragically, aged 22, both of her parents died within six months of each other. Anne was devastated.

 

She says: “I felt really angry for how dare they leave me. And I’ve never felt so alone.”

 

Their passing was a difficult period in Anne’s life. While dealing with the grief, Anne’s thoughts turned toward her birth mother. 

 

She says: “That made me want my birth Mum. I’ve never needed somebody so much.”

For over 30 years, Anne has been trying to find her birth mother, Jean. Using the little information on her birth certificate, Anne has tried everything she can think of.

 

She says:  “I did Salvation Army, private investigators, no-one could find anything.” But Anne has found no trace of her birth mother, not even a birth certificate.

 

Now happily engaged to her partner Chris, Anne is putting off setting a date for the wedding until she has found her birth mum. 

 

She says: “We’ve been engaged two years now but I just feel I can’t get married yet.” This has made the search all the more urgent.

 

Starting the search, Anne was able to give Long Lost Family two crucial pieces of information - Jean’s name and date of birth. But Long Lost Family soon discovered that for over 30 years Anne had been searching using the wrong name, Anne’s birth mother had actually been born under a different surname to the one on Anne’s birth certificate. With Jean’s correct name, the team were able to trawl records to trace her. But they then discovered that tragically Jean had died in 1975, aged just 31. 

 

However, Long Lost Family also discovered that just a year after giving Anne up for adoption, Jean had married and had another daughter called Florence. Long Lost Family tracked Florence down to Northern Ireland, where she had moved with her father following the death of her mother.

 

Nicky goes to meet Florence in Belfast, where he discovers that Florence knew nothing of Anne’s existence. 

 

Florence tells Nicky: “I presumed there was just me so I was just shocked.” She is delighted to be found and can’t wait to meet Anne. 

 

Anne and Flo meet in a pub in Chelsea, London close to where Anne was born, and where Flo was last with their mother.

 

Anne is finally able to ask someone from her birth family to be at her wedding. 

Anne says: “Now that I’ve found you, I really would like it if you walked me down the aisle.” 

 

Flo agrees and the pair look forward to their future together.

 

Flo says: “Meeting Anne has definitely made me feel closer to my Mum.” 

 

Produced by Wall to Wall for ITV.

 

Series overview

 

In the last year over 4000 people from across the UK have contacted the Long Lost Family team asking for help to find missing family members. In this brand new seven-part series, Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell return and with the help of trained intermediaries, DNA experts and investigators from all over the world, they find people that previously couldn’t be traced and answer questions that have haunted entire lives.

 

The series will feature more extraordinary stories with unexpected twists and turns, including the first time the team have taken on a search for someone in the public eye, as singer KT Tunstall searches for her birth father and uncovers many surprises along the way. It also features Long Lost Family’s oldest ever searcher at the age of 83, who is desperate to find her daughter before it’s too late. New searches will take the team to locations including Chicago, Brisbane, Belfast and Canada. And for the first time the series will feature a missing person story without a resolution, by making an emotional appeal.