Wednesday 12 Apr 2023 10:24 am
Steven Hydes, 37, found his birth father decades after he was abandoned (Picture: Steve Hydes/Triangle News)
A man who spent years tracking down his birth parents after he was abandoned as a 10-day-old baby at Gatwick Airport has told others searching for family: ‘Never give up’.
Steven Hydes, 37, was found wrapped in a shawl on a shelf in a toilet in the south terminal by a staff member on April 10, 1986.
After being dubbed ‘Gary Gatwick’ in the press, it took him 33 years to find his dad and siblings – who had no idea he existed.
But his birth mother had died by the time he identified her, so he was never able to find out exactly what happened that day.
He wrote an emotional post on the 37th anniversary (Picture: Steve Hydes/Triangle News)]
On Monday, he marked the 37th anniversary of the moment that changed his life forever and urged others to look into their DNA.
He said: ‘37 years ago today, on 10th April 1986, somebody carried me, as a 10-day-old baby, into Gatwick Airport. I’m very lucky to have found out now who my birth family are.
‘For anyone who is thinking about doing their DNA I would highly recommend it and to be patient.
‘It took a long time for me to get to where I am now and with still unanswered questions I still wonder what’s next.
‘But I am very grateful for all my birth family for accepting me and my mum, dad and sisters for supporting me through all of my journey. Never give up.’
Baby Steven was sleeping so soundly that duty free sales assistant Beryl Wright initially thought it was just a pile of rags when she came across him.
She assumed his mum must be in the toilet too, but when it became clear she wasn’t, a huge appeal was launched.
No one ever came forward and Steven was taken in by social services and eventually adopted.
Steven Hydes with his photo album and two children (Picture: Steve Hydes/Triangle News)
He previously said that he had a ‘wonderful childhood’ with his adoptive parents and three sisters – but in the back of his mind, he always wondered about his past.
Having children himself with partner Sammy pushed Steven to start looking for his birth family.
After 15 years of searching, he was on the brink of giving up when he had a breakthrough.
In May 2019, he announced on Facebook that he had traced his birth family ‘with the very hard work of Genetic Genealogists, CeCe Moore and Helen Riding’.
‘As you can imagine this is quite a sensitive issue to all involved and very new to us all, but I wanted to take this time to thank everyone for their continued support over the years’, he said.
‘The work the Genealogists do is incredible and for years they have worked so hard and it is thanks to them they are solving cases like mine.
‘More people are having their DNA tested every day and I hope this and my story can help raise awareness and prevent other babies from being abandoned.’
Two years later, he uploaded some pictures of his new family and revealed that he wanted to write a book.
He said: ’I hope it will help others understand the process of how I got to where I am today, through the help of DNA and genealogists to find my birth family.
‘For me I hope my story one day can raise awareness if not only to help foundlings but those who feel they have no other option other than to abandon their baby.’