Mother, 71, reunited with daughter 50 years after her adoption

Woman reunited with birth mother, 71, after 50 years says she’s ‘so grateful’ to her for the ‘really hard sacrifice’ of giving her baby away as a teenager so she could have a better life

  • Susan Atkins, 71, from Southampton, got pregnant with daughter at the age of 19
  • Lisa Phillips, 51, Staffordshire, raised by adoptive parents Sonia and Gerald Clark
  • Mother-of-one wanted to find her mother after wedding husband Paul in 1992
  • Last year contacted Long Lost Family who reunited her with Susan after 50 years

A mother who was reunited with her daughter 50 years after giving her up for adoption says ‘not a moment has gone by’ without thinking of her, while her child has praised her for the ‘sacrifice’ she made.

Susan Atkins, 71, from Southampton, was living in a tiny house with her parents and siblings when she got pregnant at the age of 19, and decided to put her child up for adoption in the hope she would have a better life. 

Her daughter, Lisa Phillips, 51, from Staffordshire, was raised by Sonia and Gerald Clark, and first decided she wanted to try and contact her mother when she wed husband Paul in 1992. 

Last year, mother-of-one Lisa contacted Long Lost Family, reuniting with Susan in emotional scenes aired this evening on ITV, and the pair appeared on Lorraine today to share their joy at finding one another.  

Searcher Lisa Phillips (right) and her found birth mother Sue (left) on their reunion day on Long Lost Family, which airs tonight

The pair appeared on Lorraine today to share their joy at finding one another and Susan said ‘not a moment has gone by’ without thinking of her child

Last year mother-of-one Lisa (pictured as a baby) contacted Long Lost Family and was reunited with Susan in emotional scenes aired this evening on ITV

‘Every day I thought of Lisa, every day’, said Susan. ‘Not a moment went by without thinking about her, but I was always afraid.

‘I was contemplating trying to find her, but I thought. “It’s not my place. I’ll be interfering in her mum and dad’s life”, and I couldn’t bring myself to upset them, but I’m so glad she found me.’ 

Lisa said it took her ‘half a century’ to find the courage to look for her mum, admitting she was scared to hurt her adoptive parents. 

‘It was out of respect for my mum and dad,’ she said. ‘But the yearning every single year gets deeper and deeper and now look what I’ve got, I adore her!’ 

The mother and daughter are pictured with Lisa’s adoptive parents Sonia and Gerald Clark 

 Lisa (pictured) was born two weeks early, meaning Susan was able to spend ten ‘glorious’ days with her daughter before giving her to the agency

Lisa was born two weeks early, meaning Susan was able to spend ten ‘glorious’ days with her daughter before giving her to the agency, and the mother said being able to bond with her daughter was ‘the best thing’. 

She requested that the adoptive parents named her daughter Lisa, and says she was touched when she discovered Sonia and Gerald had carried out her wishes. 

‘I am so grateful to them for doing that for me,’ she said. ‘I honour her parents, they are wonderful people.’ 

Speaking of meeting her mum for the first time, Lisa gushed: ‘She is absolutely stunning, all I saw were those eyes and the love she’s had for me for 50 years and I am so grateful I have had such a beautiful life

Lisa requested that the adoptive parents named her daughter Lisa, and says she was touched when she discovered Sonia and Gerald had carried out her wishes

Speaking of meeting her mum for the first time, Lisa gushed: ‘She is absolutely stunning, all I saw were those eyes and the love she’s had for me for 50 years’

‘I can’t explain it. You are absolutely beautiful and I cannot thank you enough because I know it was a really hard sacrifice and I am nothing but grateful to you. I love you to bits 

Susan replied: ‘ I love you all the world, seriously’. 

When asked whether she was nervous to meet her real mum, Lisa said: ‘There’s an apprehension of course there is, is she going to like me? Is it going to work out? 

‘But with the show, when you look at a photograph, I couldn’t understand how you could have a connection with a photograph, and as soon as I saw that beautiful woman there, that was my mamma.’ 

Searcher Lisa Phillips as a baby in her adoptive father’s arms. When asked whether she was nervous to meet her real mum, Lisa said: ‘There’s an apprehension of course there is, is she going to like me? Is it going to work out?

Lisa as a young girl (pictured centre) with her adoptive older sister Sarah (left), and adoptive mother Sonia (right)

When reunited on Long Lost Family, the first thing Susan said to her daughter was ‘I love you. I’ve loved you for 50 years.’

Lisa told The Mirror: ‘It couldn’t have been more perfect. I felt my life was finally complete. It was a fairytale after so many decades of wondering.’

Lisa was just aged seven when her parents told her she was adopted, but that became more apparent on her wedding day when she realised she felt as if one person – her birth mother – was missing.

‘It was a big, traditional white wedding. All day my heart was aching because my biological mum wasn’t there,’ explained Lisa, who has a daughter Bethany, 21.

Susan, who lives with husband Peter, 66, has two children, Tony and Lisa, who is named after her first daughter, and three grandsons.

Long Lost Family airs tonight on ITV at 9pm

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