Daughter adopted in 1953 stunned to discover her mother is still alive
Woman whose unmarried Irish mother travelled to Liverpool to put her up for adoption in 1953 is stunned to discover she’s still alive but is living in a care home with dementia
- Margaret, 67, was adopted in Southport when she was only six months old
- Only after her adoptive mother died she began searching for biological mum
- Discovered her mother is called Bridget and is living in a care home in Ireland
- Two siblings wrote letter insisting they are ‘overjoyed’ to discover their sister
The 67-year-old daughter of an Irish woman who put her up for adoption in 1953 was stunned to discover that her mother is still alive in an emotional BBC documentary.
Margaret, from Warwickshire, was adopted in Southport, Liverpool when she was just six months old.
She appeared on last night’s episode of BBC2’s DNA Family Secrets in hope of finding her biological mother, who had travelled from Ireland to England to put her daughter up for adoption after giving birth out of wedlock.
Margaret was delighted to discover that her mother, Bridget, is now in her 90s and is still alive but has dementia and needs ‘full time care’.
Host Stacey Dooley read a letter from Margaret’s two siblings, who did not wish to appear on the show, in which they insisted they are ‘overjoyed’ to find they have a sister and were looking forward to ‘welcoming her into their family’.
Margaret, 67, from Warwickshire, was adopted in Southport, Liverpool when she was just six-months-old. Pictured, Margaret as a baby after being adopted in 1953
She appeared on BBC2’s DNA Family Secrets in hope of her biological mother and was delighted to find that her mother, Bridget, is still alive and that she had several living family members
Her ‘bubbly and outgoing’ mother, Bridget, (pictured) had lived a happy life after returning to Ireland and is currently living in a care home in the area
The letter read: ‘Dear Margaret, hope this letter finds you safe and well. We are overjoyed to discover we have a sister. We are sad our mother kept you a secret all of these years.
‘Our mother was a very bubbly outgoing person who loved her bright colours. She read a lot and liked the game bingo.
‘Our mother now is in her 90s and in 2015 was diagnosed with vascular dementia and needs full time care.
‘We are glad to hear you had a happy childhood and made a happy life for yourself. We are all looking forward to meeting you and welcoming you into our family.’
Margaret was brought up in a ‘very happy household’, but said she only felt able to go in search of her biological mother following the death of her adoptive mother.
‘I’m not getting any younger’, she said. ‘Having worked all my life and retired I just feel it’s right now. My mum never gave me permission, she never said “If you want to go and find your birth mum”. So I didn’t.’
Results from Professor Turi King (pictured left) , a Canadian-British Professor of Public Engagement and Genetics at the University of Leicester discovered that Margaret is 93 per cent Irish
She added: ‘Although I knew I was adopted, it was nothing, she was my mum I didn’t know anything else, she was my mum.’
Margaret’s adoptive parents were unable to have children, and so turned to their local priest who advised visiting an adoption agency in Southport.
The only information that Margaret ever had about her mother was the name written on adoption papers, but she worried that her mother had not given her real name.
Margaret then teared up as she admitted that she’s thought of her mother every year on her birthday.
She continued: ‘Always I used to think, if nothing else, she would think, “I gave birth on that day”. You would do wouldn’t you? It would mean something.’
Host Stacey Dooley read a letter from Margaret’s siblings, who did not wish to appear on the show, in which they insisted they are ‘overjoyed’ to find they have a sister’
The letter revealed that her mother is now 90-years-old and living in a care home with dementia, but that she was bright and bubbly and loved the game bingo in her younger years
Chatting to daughter Anna about what her results could mean for the family, Margaret admitted that she feared she had left it too late to find her birth mother.
Anna said: ‘I’ve wanted to know for over a decade and I did look into how I would go about tracking her down.
‘I think I’ve tried to approach it more than once before and you just weren’t interested in going there, you almost subconsciously changed the subject. But I think a lot of that was out of respect for when nan and granddad were still here.’
‘I think I’ve left it too late to find my birth mum,’ replied Margaret, ‘I don’t think she would be alive…the other thing is to find out if she went back to Ireland and went back happily, that she was okay.
Host Stacey then revealed: ‘Your mum is still alive, she lives in Ireland she’s in a care home and she has dementia, but she’s alive and they’re looking after her’
Margaret was overjoyed at the news and said it was ‘just beyond words’ that her birth mother is still alive
Professor Turi King, a Canadian-British Professor of Public Engagement and Genetics at the University of Leicester, took a look at Margaret’s DNA to try and gain a clearer insight into her ancestry.
Ahead of discovering who her mother is, Margaret said: ‘I woke up feeling very excited this morning, 67 years I’ve not known and today I will.’
Results discovered that Margaret is 93 per cent Irish, has one first cousin, six second cousins, 19 third cousins and that her grandmother was also called Margaret, while her granddad was called James.
Host Stacey then revealed: ‘Your mum is still alive, she lives in Ireland she’s in a care home and she has dementia, but she’s alive and they’re looking after her.
‘But actually your siblings are really excited to meet you and they’ve written you a letter and asked me to pass it on’.
Following the news Margaret said: ‘It’s just beyond words, my birth mum is still alive, how amazing is that I wanted to know if she had a good life and I know she has and thats great, that’s really good.’
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