Home Life Style Heartbreaking moment: 74-year-old woman who has spent her entire adult life searching for her son she abandoned at 17 tells his long-lost family she doesn’t expect him to love her

Heartbreaking moment: 74-year-old woman who has spent her entire adult life searching for her son she abandoned at 17 tells his long-lost family she doesn’t expect him to love her

0 comment
A woman hoping to find her son on Long Lost Family gets emotional as she admits that

A woman hoping to find her son on Long Lost Family gets emotional as she admits she can “never expect love” from the boy she gave up for adoption when she was just 17.

In an exclusive clip shared with FEMAIL ahead of the second episode of the new series of the ITV show on Monday, Paula Beer, 74, from Bridgend in Wales, speaks about the search for her son.

The retired municipal employee was just 17 when she made the heartbreaking decision to part with her baby due to her parents’ strict reaction. She then spent the rest of her adult life searching for him.

Asking for help from the Long Lost Family team, she explained emotionally: “I can’t expect love, but just to meet him, see him, touch him, maybe his hand, and know that he has always been loved. For me that is everything.”

Paula had hidden her pregnancy, working long hours in a grocery store in nearby Porthcawl, and only went to the doctor when she was eight months along. She gave birth to her son, Paul, in February 1967.

A woman hoping to find her son on Long Lost Family gets emotional as she admits she can “never expect love” from the boy she gave up for adoption when she was just 17. Pictured, Paula

She spent just three days with him in the hospital before he was taken away, and recalled how giving Paul up for adoption was “the worst thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.”

After discovering she was pregnant at just 17, Paula came to the conclusion on her own that she would have to give her baby up for adoption.

She told FEMAIL: “My father would have thrown me out of the house, out of shame and everything else. I made the decision to give[Paul]up for adoption, because he would have had a much better life, he would have had a very unhappy life with me and my parents.”

Seven months pregnant, Paula went to live with a kind aunt in Essex, who helped arrange the adoption.

“It was a very, very, very bad time in my life. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me,” Paula recalls.

She spent three days with her son before he was taken away for adoption, “just watching him, talking to him, hoping he would remember my voice, knowing what I needed to do and loving him as much as I could, you know?” Paula said.

“It was a very, very difficult time, and to part ways with him then… was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.”

She added: “From the moment I first held him in my arms, the love I felt for him was incredible. I didn’t think I would feel that way. And I knew I had to be apart from him. So I didn’t want to feel that way.”

Fearing her strict parents' reaction, she hid her pregnancy, working long hours in a grocery store in nearby Porthcawl and only seeing a doctor when she was eight months old. Pictured here is Paula's baby.

Fearing her parents’ strict reaction, she hid her pregnancy, working long hours in a grocery store in nearby Porthcawl and only seeing a doctor when she was eight months old. Pictured: Paula’s baby

Paula Beer (pictured), 74, from Bridgend in Wales, spoke about her search for her son

Paula Beer (pictured), 74, from Bridgend in Wales, spoke about her search for her son

The retired municipal employee was just 17 when she made the heartbreaking decision to part with her baby due to her parents' strict reaction. She then spent the rest of her adult life searching for him.

The retired municipal employee was just 17 when she made the heartbreaking decision to part with her baby due to her parents' strict reaction. She then spent the rest of her adult life searching for him.

The retired municipal employee was just 17 when she made the heartbreaking decision to part with her baby due to her parents’ strict reaction. She then spent the rest of her adult life searching for him.

Paula later married and had a daughter, but she did not anticipate the pain that giving up her child for the rest of her life would cause her.

‘Every year on his birthday, I light a candle for him, I watch the candle burn and I say a prayer and I ask God, ‘Please God, let me find him one day,'” Paula revealed before finding her son.

The Long Lost Family team eventually discovered that Paul’s name had been changed to Jim and tracked him down to live in the Southwest.

It took Jim several months to decide whether he wanted to have contact with his birth mother, with the happily adopted psychiatric nurse telling the programme: “It was a mixed range of emotions, from happiness to fear… you name it.”

But eventually Jim decided that he did want to meet his birth mother and was delighted to discover that she was Welsh, having spent a lot of time in Wales and loved it.

Paula, who also shares her son’s love of music and the outdoors, revealed she was “absolutely over the moon” after discovering Jim.

Paula (pictured) gave birth to her son, Paul, in February 1967, and spent just three days with him in hospital before he was taken away.

Paula gave birth to her son, Paul (now called Jim, pictured), in February 1967, and spent just three days with him in hospital before he was taken away.

Paula (pictured left) gave birth to her son, Paul (now called Jim, pictured right), in February 1967, and spent just three days with him in hospital before he was taken away.

Fortunately, the Long Lost Family team tracked down Paula's son, whose name had been changed to Jim, and found him living in the South West. In emotional scenes, birth mother and son are reunited during the second episode of the ITV show on Monday. Pictured: Davina McCall with Paula

Fortunately, the Long Lost Family team tracked down Paula’s son, whose name she had changed to Jim, and found him living in the South West. In emotional scenes, birth mother and son are reunited during the second episode of the ITV show on Monday. Pictured: Davina McCall with Paula

After discovering she was pregnant at just 17, Paula came to the conclusion on her own that she would have to give her baby up for adoption. Pictured: Nicky Campbell with Jim

After discovering she was pregnant at just 17, Paula came to the conclusion on her own that she would have to give her baby up for adoption. Pictured: Nicky Campbell with Jim

She recalled: ‘The first thing I said to Davina McCall was, “Is she OK?” She said, “Yeah, she’s really, really happy.” And I said, “Oh, thank God for that.” And I said, “Do you want to meet me?” That was my second question. She said, “Yes.”

‘My worst fear was that he didn’t want to know me, that even though he had been perfectly happy with his life up until now, he didn’t want me in it or want to know me. And that’s what happens.

“I’ve been very lucky. I thank God every day, I get down and thank him for my son.”

Recalling their emotional reunion, Paula said it was “wonderful” and that they both hugged each other warmly. She even admitted: “I would have stayed there forever with him in my arms.”

Retired council worker Paula Beer (pictured with her son), 74, from Bridgend, Wales, was just 17 when she made the heartbreaking decision to part ways with her baby, but spent decades searching for him.

Retired council worker Paula Beer (pictured with her son), 74, from Bridgend, Wales, was just 17 when she made the heartbreaking decision to part ways with her baby, but spent decades searching for him.

“We sat down and he held my hands the whole time… It was totally, totally amazing. HHe is the son I would have designed for myself. He is perfect for me, for me, with me in every way.

“He’s my personality, a toned-down version of me…” I feel like he’s been my son in my life, my whole life.’

Following their experience on the ITV show, the pair now video call each other a few times a week.

Long Lost Family airs on ITV and ITVX on Monday 15 July at 9pm

You may also like