Sheffield woman goes on search for birth mother in new series of Long Lost Family
A woman from Sheffield will feature in the new series of Long Lost Family, which airs on Monday, July 19, as she goes on the search for her birth mother.
The multi-award-winning series returns with more extraordinary and moving stories of people desperate to find missing family.
With help from a team of trained intermediaries, DNA experts and investigators, Nicky Campbell and Davina McCall find people that previously couldn’t be traced and answer questions that have haunted entire lives.
Professional dancer Amanda Village from Sheffield is on the trail of her mother, Susan.
As a teenager in the 1960s, Susan lived at an army base in Wales with her family, where she became pregnant to a young army recruit.
Deemed too young to look after the baby, Susan gave Amanda up for adoption, but now, 50 years on, Amanda wants to find her mother and turns to Long Lost Family for help.
Now a mum herself, Amanda still remembers being told by her adoptive mum that she was adopted and found it hard to take at the time.
“I didn’t really want to know that I had another mum because I felt as if I wasn’t wanted,” she said.
Amanda says she’s carried this fear of rejection throughout her life and wonders whether this is the reason she’s never married: “I’m a person where if I don’t venture too far, I don’t get hurt.”
Finally, Amanda feels ready to search for her birth mother, but her only leads are from the story she was told by her adoptive parents.
Amanda has tried to find out where her birth mother went after she left the army base, but her searches have drawn blanks, and she’s desperate to know: “What happened next?.... Has she had other children? Has she told them about me? I want to know if she thinks about me on my birthdays and if she’s tried to look for me.”
In the episode, Long Lost Family take up Amanda’s search and track Susan (Sue) to Burton Latimer in Northamptonshire.
When Nicky goes to meet Sue, she tells him that her eldest child has never been forgotten; Sue has spent years looking for Amanda and has told her sons about her.
Sue remembers how devastated she was after she and her baby were separated: “I used to go to bed and cry some nights. You know, you just keep seeing it, you know, you close your eyes, and you just see her.”
Amanda is ecstatic when Davina visits her to tell the news - she has always wanted to know who she looks like, and she is delighted to see a photograph of her birth mother for the first time and to discover that Sue had tried to find her too.
Two days before her 51st birthday, Amanda travels to the East Midlands, where she meets her birth mother, after half a century apart.
Sue says: “I’ve always loved her… It felt as though I’d known her for years”. Amanda feels the same “I definitely knew I belonged to her.”
Although they had to socially distance on their reunion day because of restrictions in place due to the pandemic, Amanda and her birth mother Sue have since been able to give each other a proper hug at long last.