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Maureen said she had been terrified the authorities would take her baby away due to her living conditions. She left him with trusted neighbours, whom she had made his godparents. John, from Derbyshire, said: “It’s a weight off my shoulders. All these years of trying to find my mother and it’s finally happened. “I feel my life is complete now. A lot of people think I am a lot calmer and more relaxed and more happy now too. Dreams do come true.”
Quarry worker John was brought up by his adoptive parents, who had found him outside their flat in Buxton.
As a teenager, he was told that his birth mother was a neighbour of theirs at the time, who disappeared without a trace.
John spent decades trying to find her. ITV’s Long Lost Family programme eventually tracked her down to Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent.
The pair had an emotional reunion in a pub near Maureen’s home – a moment that will be seen on TV on Monday.
Maureen, 77, said: “I’ve got a son. That’s the most important thing in my life. I’ve got everything to live for now.”
She told him: “I’ve never forgotten you, darling. I didn’t want to hand you over but it was a matter of having to.”
She added: “I was living in this room. It was just a little square and it was a hovel. It was disgusting, that place. I was desperate.”
Having had a bad experience growing up in care, Maureen’s biggest fear was that the authorities would take her son away.
She added: “I knew if the authorities came, they only had to look at the place I was living in and they would have taken him. I wasn’t having that because then he would have been stuck in a home. That’s one thing that I didn’t want.”
- The reunion is on Long Lost Family on Monday on ITV at 9pm.
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