Placing a child for adoption is one of the hardest choices many parents ever have to make. This often happens due to the mother’s situation when she became pregnant. For some, it might be that they were still children themselves or they were not able to provide for the newborn. Whatever the reason a child is placed for adoption, for some the process of being given away by their biological parent leaves more questions than answers.
To learn simple things like family medical history or to connect in a meaningful way with one heritage, many opted children seek out biological family members after they reach adulthood. Steve Belshaw knew a little bit about his birth mother, but he wanted to learn more. This brought him to a British television show that helped to bring those who were adopted out back into contact with their biological families.
Belshaw had been told a story about how he ended up being placed for adoption, and it all hinged on the selfless act of his mother, Frances Unsworth. She became pregnant at 17 and intended to keep the baby. This changed when her partner and the father of her child was tragically killed in an accident. She knew she was not able to care or provide for a baby on her own at that point. She was employed as a worker in a sweet factory, but this was not enough to support two people.
Instead of placing her baby to be with an agency, Unsworth set out to find the perfect parents on her own. She placed a newspaper ad looking for a home for the baby she knew she could not provide for. Unsworth handed the little boy over to his new family within hours of him being born. Even though many children who are given up for adoption feel anger towards their biological parents, this was not the case here. As Belshaw shared:
“To have lost her boyfriend, the father of her child, I can only see her world fall apart. It’s unusual to advertise your unborn child but I think it’s an extraordinarily loving thing to do.
And knowing she had gone to all that trouble to find the most suitable parents speaks volumes about her character. If I had one chance, it would be to say ‘thank you’.”
Belshaw had hoped to one day meet the woman who made a choice to search out a better life for him. Through the television show Long Lost Family, a search began for Unsworth. The producers of the show had to tell Belshaw that his mother had unfortunately died in 2004. He was devastated to hear that she had passed years before he was able to look for her and that he would never meet his mother.
As he dealt with the blow that his mother was already gone, the television crew delivered some news that was far more shocking. Even though she was passed, they had a picture of her to share with him. The image allowed him to see his mother for the first time and also learn something he was not expecting. Reporter Davina McCall shocked Belshaw as she shared:
“Do you know where we got it? You have a half-brother called Rob.”
In the moments after learning that his mother was no longer living, Belshaw was shocked to learn he did have other biological family members. To make this moment even more incredible, his younger half-brother had lived about a mile away from him for the last 50 years.
The now grown brothers had a tearful meeting in the moments after Belshaw had learned he had a brother. A stunned Belshaw exclaimed:
“To have a little brother… I never saw this in my wildest dreams. Meeting Rob has allowed me to feel closer to my birth mother. He has got so many memories to share. All that will help to build a much clearer picture of the kind of person she was.”
Belshaw and his half-brother Rob Hall quickly embraced at their first meeting in a pub that was arranged by the news crew covering the event. Hall was born several years after Belshaw was placed for adoption after their mother began dating again. Even while dealing with the news that he will never meet his mother in person, Belshaw is hoping to gain more information about her from his brother. He explained “…I hope we will be friends as well as brothers. I think we will be.”
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