New series Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace is a special one as it focuses on foundlings – people who were abandoned as babies, often in the first few hours or days of their lives.
Using the latest genetic genealogy and DNA testing technology, presenters Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell and the Long Lost Family team attempt to help those people who were abandoned as babies, with no birth record or name, so they can finally discover who they are.
The three part series, airing on Monday 24th, Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th May at 9pm on ITV each night, features astonishing stories, including a woman left on the luggage rack of a train in Paddington Station after World War II, and a man who was left in public toilets near Wolverhampton Wanderers’ football stadium.
The series begins with one of the most intriguing episodes of all: the story of two babies, both abandoned in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, just 18 months apart in the 1980s.
In December 1988, Helen Knox was discovered in a box outside a hospital. While she was adopted by a couple who saw her on the local news, Helen has always wanted to know where she came from. “I don’t know what the first few hours of my life were like, where I was and who I was with, who left me there,” she says.
The only mementoes she has to go on are a hospital name tag, featuring the name of the nurse who looked after her, and some photos of her taken with the maternity nurses.
A year-and-a-half before Helen was found, Victoria Vardy was left in a department store stairwell in Elder Way, Chesterfield, not far from the same hospital.
“To leave a baby in a department store on a busy Saturday morning, you’ve got to be desperate. Why? I’ve no idea,” she says. Victoria was also adopted, but despite a nationwide appeal 10 years ago, she still has no idea who her mother is, and turned to the Long Lost Family team for help.
As only a few babies are abandoned each year in the UK, and the two baby girls were found in the same town. The Long Lost Family team investigate to see whether there could be a connection. What they find is revealed in Monday night’s episode.