In April 1986 a cleaner at Gatwick airport in London found a newborn baby abandoned in the ladies toilets. The discovery caught the attention of the national media, who quickly dubbed the 10-day-old The Gatwick Baby, as authorities desperately tried to track down his parents.
The boy’s parents could not be traced, so he was adopted, and his name changed to Steve Hydes—after initially being officially named on his birth certificate as Gary Laker, after an airline and the airport mascot.
Now, after 15 years of hunting, Hydes has announced that he had finally traced his family.
Throughout his years of searching, Hydes said that he had no anger about what had happened, and believed that his parents must have acted with a “very good reason.”
“After 15 years of searching I am happy to confirm that with the very hard work of Genetic Genealogists, CeCe Moore and Helen Riding we have been able to trace and confirm my birth family,” he wrote on a Facebook page dedicated to his hunt for his parents, on May 11.
“Unfortunately my birth mum has passed away so I am unable to find out exactly what happened and why.”
“However I have found my birth father and siblings on both sides, who were all unaware of my existence.”
“As you can imagine this is quite a sensitive issue to all involved and very new to us all, but I wanted to take this time to thank everyone for their continued support over the years,” he wrote.
A widely used photograph of the baby with the airport mascot, named Gary, led to the choice of the first name on his birth certificate: Gary. His surname, Laker, was the name of a prominent airline at the time.
“I was found in the ladies toilets, the doctors believed I was around 10 days old,” wrote Hydes on his Facebook page. “I was given the birth date of the 31st march, however I don’t know if that is the day I was born but that is the day I celebrate my birthday.”
“When I was abandoned I was in the newspapers and over the news. I was named by airport staff as Gary Gatwick. My first birth certificate states I was named as Gary Laker. I was adopted later on and my name changed to Steven Gary Hydes.”
Hydes, who is now married with children of his own, wrote: “I was left in baby grows and blankets but no note was left. They say I had been well cared for.”
Hydes has been in and out of the news for the last decade or so, hoping to raise the profile of his story, and to prompt someone to step forward or to jog some dusty memories.
According to Sky News, when Hydes set out to find his family, he discovered that the police had destroyed the case files, which included details of a phone call made to police by a young woman claiming to be his mother, who said that his name was Michael.