Saturday 22 October 2016

Irish pensioner (73) launches appeal to find birth family: 'I think maybe it would be better if I’d never been told I was adopted'

Published 16/12/2015 | 10:38

Don (73) pictured with his son Andy
Don (73) pictured with his son Andy

An Irish man has launched a campaign to locate his birth family, after he learned he was adopted following the death of his parents.

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Don Byrne (73) believed he was the biological son of his parents for more than fifty years until they passed away and his aunt revealed that he had been adopted in 1943.

The Dublin pensioner hopes to establish a connection with his biological family but revealed that he has been “caught in red tape” and cannot gain access to the records which could help him in his search.

“I’ve searched for so long, I don’t think there’s going to be a happy outcome,” Don told The Anton Savage Show on Today FM.

“But there is a possibility that there could be other relatives of mine out there. The woman who gave birth to me was apparently a teenager and she could have gone on and had a family.”

For more than fifty years Don believed his birthday to be April 18 1943, but the pensioner has discovered that he was born six weeks earlier in February.

Don believes that he is one of the children born in Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital on February 23 1943, but he has been denied access to those records.

Don’s son Andy admitted that the barriers in place are extremely frustrating as Don continues his search for his biological family.

Don (73) pictured with his son Andy
Don (73) pictured with his son Andy

“They can’t reveal that information unless we have his mother’s name, which is what we are looking for. We’re caught in red tape,” said Andy.

“It was 72 years ago. It’s quite frustrating knowing that the information is there. We’re just looking for someone to open the door.”

Don admitted that connecting with his biological family will give him a sense of identity.

“I’ll know from whence I come, my children will know who their real grandparents are and they could at least have a surname.

“I’m lucky I’ve got to now without any illness but there’s a medical history missing too.

“Sometimes I think maybe it would be better if I’d never been told because it caused so much pain. As anyone who has been adopted will tell you , there’s an empty spot,” he said.

The family have asked anyone with information regarding Don’s biological family to contact them on or use the hashtag #whoisdonbyrne on Twitter.

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