A mother who was forced to give her newborn baby up for adoption has found him living in Australia 66 years later.
Issy Carr, 86, from Bentham, in North Yorkshire, England, parted ways with her baby son, George, now Keith, all the way back in 1955 when she was just 20 years old.
She often thought of her long-lost son over the decades, but it wasn’t until Christmas Day 2018 when someone suggested ancestry tracking that her search began. Her DNA sample matched with a 43-year-old woman named Kym in Perth, Australia; Kym was looking for her dad.
Further tests revealed a 99.59 percent match and that Kym was Issy’s biological granddaughter and that George had her as a youngster after moving abroad but had never met her. Issy also learned she had two great-grandsons.
“It turned out that my son had emigrated to Australia with his family aged 15, had met someone but split up,” Issy said.
The pair, with help from Issy’s niece Angela Bowskill and relative Janet Staveley, launched a social media search for George with the information they had: his birth name, date of birth, and a possible surname. There was a laborious search of library records to follow which revealed a surname of Garrahy and an address.
It turned out that George was raised just 10 miles from Issy and moved to Australia with his adopted family aged 15.
In May, Kym went to the house with her husband and asked the man his date of birth before saying, “I’m your daughter.”
A few days later, Issy saw her son for the first time in 66 years in an emotional Zoom call. The mom-son-granddaughter trio has spent the past couple of months chatting and getting to know each other.
“I found out we all had a lot in common and a similar sense of humor,” Issy said. “Keith is the spitting image of me and his daughter is beautiful. She even has a cat named Bonnie, as I do.”
Issy, who still runs a small North Yorkshire caravan park at the age of 86, gave birth to George at a nursing home on June 13, 1955.
Reflecting on the past, Issy said that she loved her son “straight away” and named him George, but a nurse told her that she was “not to see or hold him.”
“He was rushed away and I never saw him again,” Issy said. “My mother told me I would soon forget about him but I never did and tried many times to find out where he had gone but failed. I never forgave my parents, whatever their reason was.”
Following the ordeal of giving him up, she worked long hours at her parents’ farm before meeting John Makinson Carr, who she married in 1962. Issy and John had no children of their own but they had a happy marriage before his death in 1991.
Following the second tragic loss in her life, Issy’s thoughts once again turned to her long-lost son, as she wondered where he was and if he was well. It wasn’t until this year after an investigation stretching across the globe by her niece and her niece’s cousin that George was found.
“What’s more, I found out when he was adopted that he was brought up in Kirkby Lonsdale, right under my nose,” Issy said.
Issy said she will never get over the trauma of being forced to give her son away.
“It felt very cruel but there was nothing I could do,” Issy said. “It did make me a strong person and I did eventually find a good man in John but there was a huge part of my life missing and it was the not knowing that was the hardest thing to bear.”
Kym said she and her father were excited to learn of their extended family in England.
“He said he was very happy that he has a nice family now and was very happy to have found his mum,” Kym said. “I have been over the moon to find my grandmother, it was so unexpected. And the joy I feel knowing I have more family in England. I can’t wait to meet them all.
“I was so excited and nervous to meet my father but I had nothing to worry about. And helping my Grandma Issy find her son was the best feeling ever.
“My father and I can’t wait to travel to England when the COVID restrictions are over.”
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.