A woman from Alvingham has been reunited with her long lost son, almost six decades after she was forced to give him up for adoption.
Ann Davies, 80, was reunited with her 59-year-old son Robin Ingrahm at her home last week after he flew from Barbados with his wife Sarah.
The last time Ann saw Robin was when she gave him up for adoption in the south-west of England when he was just six weeks old.
As with so many cases, Ann never wanted to give her child up for adoption, but personal circumstances and social attitudes stood in her way.
Ann said: “I met Robin’s father, Johnny, when I was 16 and our friendship soon turned to love.
“Nothing ever went on but after three years he suggested that we get engaged and I said yes, and we were intimate just the once - but of course, that’s all it takes, and soon after I knew I was expecting.
“My dad was ever so sweet but my mother, she went mad and said ‘you can’t stay here’.
“I met Johnny in the cafe and he told me that his parents had told him we couldn’t even get married - because they were strong Catholics, and I was Church of England.
“After that, I never saw Johnny again”
Having been forced to move away from home, and struggling with finances despite working as a private secretary in London, Ann felt that she had no choice but to give her son up for adoption.
“I felt awful”, said Ann, who went into a maternity home prior to the birth.
Due to the stigma in 1950s Britain against unmarried women falling pregnant, Ann even bought a curtain ring from Woolworths to wear on her finger so that people would think she was married.
Just a few weeks after Robin had been born and handed over to the adoption centre, his soon-to-be adoptive parents Campbell and Daphne visited England from their home in Barbados and took Robin on as their own.
Although his adoptive family was very close, Robin always wondered who his birth mother was - but he did not actively start searching until just eight years ago.
It was only by pure chance that Robin was finally able to succeed, just a couple of years ago, after his wife Sarah made polite conversation with an English man, Ken, at a friend’s birthday party in
Sarah said: “I said to Ken that my husband was adopted from England, and he said that he had a friend back home, Val, who puts families together.”
Ken took Robin’s details back to England with him the next day, and, just three days later, they received a phone call from Val.
Meanwhile, Val also got in touch with Ann’s other son, Simon, through ‘Friends Reunited’, and contact between the two halves of the family was finally established.
After two years of letters and phone calls, Ann and Robin decided that it was time to be reunited once again.
Just hours after arriving at Ann’s home in
Alvingham and meeting his birth mother for the first time, Robin said: “It’s a great experience to be here, especially after 59 years of wondering the different circumstances and now being able to finally find out what actually transpired. “It is a great gathering of all of us.
“You hear a lot of stories about adopted kids trying to find their birth parents and not being able to get anywhere, but I want people to know that there is a possibility.
“Basically, there is still hope - so don’t give up trying.”
“It’s a great experience to be here after 59 years of wondering”