AN ADOPTED woman from Leamington has successfully reunited hundreds of long-lost relatives.
Tina – not her real name as she wants to remain anonymous – was adopted at birth but around ten years ago began looking for her real mother.
Tina was shocked to learn agencies charged around £1,000 to help people find their families – and if they were unsuccessful in their search they still kept the payment.
Setting out on her own she found her mother after around two years, but was sad to discover she wanted nothing to do with her.
But it was not all bad news as Tina also found her father and some other family members who she remains in touch with.
Wanting to help people in a similar situation, she started a Facebook page where people could post about the relatives they were searching for and she would help reunite them.
Tina told the Observer: “My mother rejecting contact was a bitter blow to me but not all bad as I went on to find my father, three half brothers and a sister.
“I decided as I now had this down to a fine art I could help some of those who were looking for their family. There is a network of very sad people out there who just want to find loved ones.
“On the page I found many hundreds of mothers, fathers and siblings. Some of the meetings went really well and most found comfort in knowing their roots.”
The page eventually got too big for her too manage and she had to close it down.
It was then Tina was contacted by a man called Douglas Carter who was looking for his daughter.
He had been approached by the Jeremy Kyle show to meet his daughter, but while wanting to meet her, did not want to do so in front of television cameras.
After turning down their invite he claims the programme makers would not give him his daughter’s details, and told him he had to find her himself.
It angered him so much he named the Facebook page ‘Jeremy Kyle Doesn’t Care’ – and found his daughter within 24 hours.
In the past year they have reunited more than 100 people, and she says one story stands out in particular.
Tina said: “One case I feel personally linked to and is sad.
“I was asked by a man to trace his mum. He gave me his date of birth which was the day after my own. It also turned out we were born in the same hospital and stayed the same mother and baby home.
“Knowing how these places work I said to him we probably had a cot together and heard each other cry. It’s haunted me every since.
“I found his mother, and it turns out she had previously lived just one door away from him. He knew her and had trouble with her before so refused to reconnect. The whole story was very sad.”
Reuniting families can sometimes be expensive work, tracking down strangers and using finding websites has cost the woman more than £1,000 since the Facebook page began.
The team behind the page want to keep the service free, and are asking those who are looking for relatives or wish to donate to get in touch.
Search for Jeremy Kyle Doesn’t Care on Facebook for further details.