A man who was left at an airport as a baby has found his parents over three decades later.
Steven Hydes was dubbed the “Gatwick Baby” and “Gary Gatwick” after being found in the airport in 1986. The story was widely reported in British media.
He revealed he was the baby years ago on a page he created on Facebook seeking help finding his family.
“I was found at Gatwick Airport on 10 April 1986. Another year gone, 28 Christmases, 10 years of searching, and I’m still without knowing my birth family,” he wrote in December 2014.
“Somebody must have some information that would help me with my search, my birth mother or father may have even liked this page, please come forward in absolute confidence, even the tiniest bit of information may help me.”
Hydes said on May 11 that he found his parents with the help of two genetic genealogists, CeCe Moore and Helen Riding.
“Unfortunately my birth mum has passed away so I am unable to find out exactly what happened and why. However I have found my birth father and siblings on both sides, who were all unaware of my existence. As you can imagine this is quite a sensitive issue to all involved and very new to us all, but I wanted to take this time to thank everyone for their continued support over the years,” he wrote to his Facebook followers.
“The work the genealogists do is incredible and for years they have worked so hard and it is thanks to them they are solving cases like mine. More people are having their DNA tested every day and I hope this and my story can help raise awareness and prevent other babies from being abandoned. Thank you to all those who have been involved and have helped with my search.”
Hydes was placed in foster care after being found as a baby and later adopted.
California-based genealogist Moore said during an interview with BBC Sussex that she’s worked with dozens of others who had been found when they were babies.
She said that she uses results from DNA tests sent to well-known companies such as Ancestry.com.
“The answers are really in your own DNA in regard to any family mysteries that a person is trying to resolve. He mailed in those kits and then he’s compared to everyone else who’s already participating in those databases. There’s about 26 million people now across four databases, most are from the United States but there are quite a few people testing from the UK now and that is what allowed us to finally identify … distant cousins of his,” Moore said.
“And then we used their family trees to reverse engineer his family tree. If we can find commonalities within the family trees of the people sharing DNA with him, or with anyone, then that allows us to start piecing their family trees back together little by little and eventually leading to one family or two families, in this case, that his DNA ties to,” she said.
Asked if the results gave Hydes the answers he was looking for, Moore said that it wouldn’t solve everything because his birth mother is dead.
“I do think that he is in a much better place, he knows where he comes from, who he comes from, and he’s such a wonderful person that I think it’s really a huge benefit to his new biological family that they’ve found him,” Moore added. “So just as fortunate as he is to finally have answers, I feel his new family is equally as fortunate to have him. He’s a real treasure.”