A mother who was forced to give up her baby daughter at just six-weeks-old has finally been reunited with her – 69 years later
Margaret Preston gave birth out of wedlock in 1950 and was pressured into letting her little girl be put up for adoption.
The heartbroken 88-year-old always hoped that her daughter would one day track her down.
And her dream was finally realised when last month – after her daughter Christine Savage embarked on a five year search that involved the help of previously unknown family members in Australia and America – and the two met for the first time in nearly seven decades.
The 69-year-old former secretary had decided to find her natural mother when she retired and some years after her adoptive parents passed away.
And it was her decision to upload her DNA to a family history website that led to the pair being finally reunited.
"She had been hoping for years that I would contact her. When I was born, she thought I would never be able to," Mrs Savage said.
"There was a little bit of apprehension about meeting her. We were both feeling kind of emotional. She was waiting outside the lift and we walked right past her because I didn't recognise her at first.
"When I did, I said it's lovely to see you." She may be my mother, but she feels like a complete stranger.
"She was so pleased to hear from me it was lovely.
"It wasn't awkward. She's very chatty, and we have got so much catching up to do."
Mrs Preston gave birth to Mrs Savage in 1950, at The Grange – a mother and baby home in Birmingham notorious for separating unmarried mothers from their children – after splitting up with Christine's father.
Christine, who her natural mother named Heather, was then adopted by Olive and Harold Turner, a secretary and accountant who could not have children themselves, and remained in the city.
Margaret moved briefly back to her native Nottingham, but left for London after the social stigma and inevitable gossip about her birth out of wedlock proved too much to deal with.
She later married and went on to have two more children and worked as a healthcare assistant.
Detailing the heartbreaking moment when her mother was separated from her Mrs Savage said: "She saw my adoptive parents arrive, with tears streaming down her face.
"But that's just what happened in the 1950s.
"She was unmarried, and at the time that was totally unacceptable."
Mrs Savage was always conscious of the fact that she was adopted, but until recently never felt inclined to seek out her natural mother.
Her adoptive parents told her she was adopted from a very early age so it wouldn't come as a shock, Christine believes.
She added: "I never wanted to search for my biological parents, because I had a loving family.
"My adopted mother offered to help me years ago, but I didn't really put much thought into it."
Christine went on to follow in the footsteps of her adoptive mother – working various secretary jobs throughout the country, in part because she could speak French, Spanish, and German, fluently, and eventually settled in Oakley, near Portsmouth, Hants.
She also had two children of her own – Richard Stephen, 43, Kathryn Rosemary, 40, and three grandchildren – Oliver, ten, Luke, eight, and Alex, six, all of whom live in Hampshire.
Her adoptive mother and father died in 1988, and 2001, respectively.
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