A WOMAN who was taken into care and separated from her two sisters after severe neglect was shocked to discover she had six more siblings.
Christine Rose, 67, discovered the truth about her past after remembering flashing lights from the day she and her sisters were forcibly removed from her childhood home, in Dewesbury, Yorkshire.
Her search led her to the local library, where she found a newspaper article form 1955, describing how she and her sisters were found trying to eat raw potatoes, and the flooring and skirting boards had been burnt for firewood.
Her mother, Doreen Ingram, was prosecuted for neglect, and Christine and her sisters were taken into care.
She said: “They took me to one children’s’ home, they took my sisters to another, and I never saw them again.”
Now living with husband Mick in Morecambe, Christine, a great-grandmother, is trying to track down her family.
She said: “I always felt lonely, especially knowing I had two sisters out there somewhere.
“I just want closure. There’s no blame, no bitterness, no nothing. I assume my mother would have passed away now.
“My sisters were so young. I really want to know what happened to them.
"I hope they were adopted together because I’ve had a decent life now and I hope they have.”
She remembers little of her childhood, and only remembers her mother’s herringbone coat, but not what she looked like.
The new season of Long Lost Family, presented by Davina McCall, has never taken on a case where a parent was prosecuted for neglect.
The team begin their search and manage to track down Catherine Mary – one of Christine’ sisters – who was registered as being born in Dewsbury and adopted in Leeds.
After getting in touch, Christine is overjoyed to discover she’s still in touch with their other sister, Carol.
As the trio meet up, Christine learns her sisters have been searching for her for the past 20 years.
Carol says: “It’s been like an obsession for 20 years.”
Christine learns more about what happened to them, with the two youngest just 18 months and two-and-a-half when they were taken away, but is relieved to learn they were adopted together.
Carol says: “You can understand what a desperate situation she must have been in, it’s such a shame all three of us couldn’t have stayed together.
“(Finding Christine) is amazing. It’s like landing on the moon.
“You feel a kind of love for somebody. It’s a part of a family that you’ve known you’ve got. At last the search is over.”
After finally meeting them, Christine says: "It's unbelievable."
As the eldest, Christine shares her memories of her mother’s screams as they were taken away, which is of comfort to her sisters.
But she soon discovers that there’s even more to their story.
Davina explains their father was in prison at the time they were taken into care, but after he was released her mother got back together with him – and they went on to have six more children.
As the trio dig for clues, they find out a little more about what happened to their mother.
She was admitted to psychiatric hospital Hatfield Hall after her prosecution, and she was pregnant on arrival.
Another daughter, Janice Elaine, was born and she too was taken into care at six-months-old.
They manage to track her down, and Janice, now 62, was adopted, saying: “I’ve been so lucky in life, I had a wonderful upbringing.”
She reveals her adoptive mother says Doreen tried to get her back, but was unsuccessful.
And she is shocked to find out Christine, Carol and Catherine were trying to find her – and that she has another five siblings.
Amazingly the team find another daughter, Amanda, using Doreen’s death certificate, which sadly confirms Christine’s fears, that her mother died many years ago.
Amanda lived with their mum until her death in 2005, and is in touch with another sibling, Lorraine, who provides a photo of Doreen, which is the first time many of the sisters are seeing their mum.
Amanda and Lorraine meet with their siblings off-camera, but Lorraine says: “We’re looking forward to seeing them and telling them about our mum.
“She’d be overjoyed about us getting together. She used to talk about them all the time.
"She told us that she had a breakdown and that she tried her best to keep them but the social services thought it was best to put them into care.”
Christine, Carol, Catherine, Jan, Lorraine and Amanda all meet up, and another sibling is also found, and they all are continuing their search for their other two siblings.
The new series of Long Lost Family starts on Monday at 9pm on ITV.
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