“Gatwick Gary” has found his biological parents.
It’s the end of what the New York Daily News calls a “long and emotional journey” for 33-year-old Steven Hydes, a UK man who was discovered in 1986 as a 10-day-old newborn in the ladies’ room at Gatwick Airport near London, swaddled in a shawl.
He’d been abandoned, and after he was adopted by John and Sandra Hydes, he decided upon turning 18 to attempt to track down his birth parents, reports the Crawley and Horley Observer. However, Hydes was told the police files regarding his case had been destroyed, stymying his search for years, per the Independent. Then he decided to recruit DNA experts to help him in his efforts. Those efforts paid off.
“After 15 years of searching, I am happy to confirm that … we have been able to trace and confirm my birth family,” the father of two wrote on his Facebook page.
Hydes found his birth father and siblings, all of whom he says had no idea he even existed. Sadly, and perhaps most frustratingly, his birth mother has since died, meaning “I am unable to find out exactly what happened and why,” he wrote of his abandonment more than 30 years ago.
Still, he wants others to know about the possibilities available through DNA testing. “I hope this and my story can help raise awareness and prevent other babies from being abandoned,” he says, per the Observer.
Hydes says he still has the stuffed “Gary Gatwick” bear (the airport’s mascot) given to him by staff 33 years ago, per Yahoo.
(A baby abandoned at a California college in 1984 ended up graduating from there.)