Man Reunites With Birth Mother After 58 Years All Thanks To A Facebook Group

They were forcibly separated.

A London man has reunited with his birth mother. Facebook

The internet has helped many people find those they haven’t seen in a long time, like an old college roommate or a high school fling. But for one U.K. man, a connection has changed his life completely.

According to BBC News, Timothy Welch, a 59-year-old teacher from London, finally discovered his birth mother last year. After being separated for nearly six decades, social media helped him uncover the truth.


Thanks to a Facebook group, he was able to reunite with his birth mom after 58 years.

The search, however, did not come easy for Timothy. His adoptive parents, Bill and Eunicé Welch raised him after he was separated from his 18-year-old birth mother at just six weeks old. They were both 36 when they adopted him due to being unable to have their own children. 

Timothy was content with his life with his adoptive parents, but he always felt a bit different from them.

“As an adoptive child you always think about researching your birth family, but whether or not you act on it is another matter…I wondered who I was, certain personality traits that were different from my adoptive family,” Timothy said.


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When he was growing up, he had a sense of understanding for his birth mother’s situation instead of resentment toward her for giving him up.

“My adoptive father told me I said when I was a child: ‘I hope my birth mother’s ok, I think she’s beautiful and I understand why she couldn’t keep me,’” Timothy said.

For decades he held off on trying to find his birth parents. However, his perspective changed when Bill died in 2018 and Eunicé in 2020. He felt compelled to figure learn the truth about his biological family.

“When my adoptive parents died, it makes you feel differently about the world and yourself,” he said. “A counselor said to me that after people’s adoptive parents die they often re-open the curiosity about their own heritage because we are all searching for connection.”


He started the search in January 2022 by delving into his old family photos, which led him to discover a photo of where he was born — a home for unmarried mothers called Yateley Haven in Hampshire, England.

He joined a Facebook group for people with a link or who were born at Yateley Haven.

“I requested to join the group and the moderator Penny Green replied and asked me about my story,” he said.

He described Penny as an “enthusiastic amateur historian” who wanted to help him find his birth parents after hearing his story.

Penny, an ex-charity worker, was born at The Haven and created the Facebook group for others associated with it. The Haven was a mother-and-baby home that the Baptist Church ran from 1945 till its closing in 1970. According to BBC News, nearly 1,800 babies were born there and were often forcibly removed from their single mothers for adoption.


“The theory was back then that they were doing all these unmarried mums a favor because it was not the done thing to be an unmarried mother,” Penny said. Since Timothy’s mother was 18 years old at the time of his birth, he speculated that he was separated from her for the same reason.

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Penny’s advice led Timothy to apply for a copy of his original birth certificate, which had his mother’s full name on it. Then Penny used the internet and the electoral roll to locate her, June Mary Phelps, who now lives in Monmouth. She contacted June’s current husband, Michael Mortimer, on Timothy's behalf.

Michael gave Timothy’s email to long-lost brothers, Chris and Greg, who were born from a 1966 marriage following Timothy’s birth.


“They are both wonderful men - kind, thoughtful and reflective,” Timothy said. “I feel very fortunate to have met them at this stage of our lives and am going to enjoy getting to know them and their respective families very much.”

Finally, on September 19th, 2022, his brothers set up a meeting with his birth mother, and they were at last reunited.

“It was the first time I was able to see myself in my mother’s eyes,” he said. “It was emotional but at the same time it felt natural.”

He then learned additional details about his birth and his family.

“My mother was 17 when she was pregnant and just 18 when she gave birth to me. She had another baby boy a year or so earlier when she was 16, who was put up for adoption and she has not seen since,” he said. He also learned about his father, whom he and his older brother have yet to locate.


“My father's name was Hedayat Mamagan Zardy, an Iranian Muslim. They had a fleeting romance and loved dancing on nights out in Oxford,” he said.

In the meantime, Timothy has new relationships to develop and memories to share with a family that took 58 years to discover he still had.

“Now, I’ve got brothers so it is interesting to have this extra layer and it’s exciting to me,” he said. “I shall be visiting my mother and look forward to getting to know her as time goes on.”

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Ethan Cotler is a writer living in Boston. He writes on entertainment and news.