Eastbourne woman abandoned at birth features on Long Lost Family

A woman who grew up in Eastbourne without knowing where she came from was on Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace this week.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 4:34 pm

Sarah Dunkley, now living in Brighton, was abandoned as a baby by her birth mother at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital – now flats – in Shepherd’s Bush, London.

Sarah said, “I would just love to know why she left me, but it just seems an impossible puzzle.”

Sarah was adopted by a family in Eastbourne, and grew up without knowing anything about her blood relatives.

Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace

Sarah had hospital records with details of her mother’s appearance and showed her mother had another child two years previous. She also had a birth certificate with a name and address for her mother, Barbara Milliner living in Paris. Sarah revealed she’d been to that address looking for her mother and found it was all false information.

Another address given on the birth certificate, this time in London, took authorities to a derelict property.

Sarah said, “I think she was probably in a desperate place, maybe scared, maybe it was a pregnancy that was a secret to her closest family. It would be amazing to know what happened.”

To try and track down blood relatives, Sarah appeared on the ITV show hosted by Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell, which aired on May 26.

Nicky Campbell said, “Sarah is one of the most intriguing cases we’ve ever had.”

DNA tests revealed Sarah has a full sister, Carole, also living in Sussex. Carole was abandoned in St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, she was given a false name and address for her mother too.

Carole said, “I’ve never once thought I’d have a full sibling. The mystery deepens because she obviously did not want to be traced. I’m just fascinated to know the story.”

The programme brought the sisters together to meet for the first time.

It also tracked down their birth father.

Ariel Bruce, a social worker and lead searcher on the show, said, “He knew about Carole, but not about Sarah. I believe he will want to meet them in time and in private.”

The team also found a DNA match for Sarah and Carole’s birth mother.

Ariel said, “They were both in their early 20s, not married to each other and in those days that was a social disgrace. And probably their families didn’t even realise that they were living together.”

The episode ended with the sisters planning to meet their birth father off camera, with hopes of one day doing the same with their birth mother.