Woman abandoned as baby tracks down dad but he can't tell her who mum is

When she was just two-days-old, Rachel Selby was abandoned on the steps of a church during the night in 1987.

Two police officers were in disbelief when they discovered the tiny baby wrapped up in a plastic carrier bag in Liverpool.

Rachel was left outside the Our Lady of Lourdes and St Bernard’s church and was then was taken to a hospital where she was named Victoria by nurses.

Merseyside police appealed to find the baby’s mother but she was never found despite several attempts and extensive enquries so she was adopte d by a loving family at six-months-old and renamed Rachel.

Appearing on last night’s Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace, Rachel said: “She obviously felt she couldn’t come forward for whatever reasons they were. I think she must have felt very scared.”

“I wonder if my birth father had seen these articles. He might not have even known that what he was looking at was his daughter.”

She was taken in by John and Lilian Selby, who had already adopted their five-year-old daughter.

“My sister was black and I was white. Because of the diversity in our family you can’t hide the fact we were adopted,” says Rachel.

Unusually at an early age, Rachel was told that she was a foundling, which was a “painful subject” she didn’t choose to talk about a great deal.

Rachel was taken in by loving parents, who had already adopted her sister
Rachel was taken in by loving parents, who had already adopted her sister

Rachel still lives in Liverpool with her partner and two children – but has never dared to go back to see the site of her abandonment.

“I have always avoided going back to where I was abandoned,” she admits.

“I’ve probably made decisions deliberately to avoid it without realising I have. I think now the time is right for me to face that fear of the unknown.”

On the night Rachel was found, Reverend Peter Morgan was at home in the adjoining Presbytery and still lives there more than three decades later.

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Meeting Reverend Morgan for the first time, Rachel is stunned to discover she wasn’t left on the steps of the church but actually on the doorstep of Peter’s home.

Rachel goes back to the church where she was found
Rachel goes back to the church where she was found

Revealing what he remembers, Peter says: “They put you there and phoned the police so you would be found – and you were almost straight away. You had been beautifully cared for and dressed very warm.

“There’s no doubt in my mind you were left on that doorstep knowing that somebody was going to find you and make sure you were well looked after.”

Peter believes that Rachel’s mother was responsible for phoning the police and may have known him and his church because it was a secluded doorway.

Although this information offers Rachel comfort, she is still left wanting to know where she came from.

“I need to know the truth of where I came from, who my birth mother and father are. It’s still this burning desire. Everybody deserves to know their identity,” explains Rachel.

Rachel had a happy childhood but wants to know who her birth parents are
Rachel had a happy childhood but wants to know who her birth parents are

Rachel’s DNA is uploaded to a national database and incredibly there is a breakthrough that will finally unlock where she came from.

Eventually, they found two brothers in the Liverpool area and discovered one of them, Kevin, is Rachel’s father.

However, Kevin, who lives just 10 miles away, has no idea who the mother is because he was quite a young man with a lot of girlfriends at the time.

In a first for Long Lost Family, a birth parent of a foundling agrees to meet on camera.

Kevin, who has six other children but is now single and lives on his own, reveals he was shocked but “made up” to discover he had a daughter.

“It’s just sad it’s taken so long. 30 years is a long time not knowing one of your kids,” says Kevin, who had no idea Rachel existed but would have searched for her if he had known.

He reveals that Rachel has two half-sisters and four half-brothers and bursts into tears when he sees a picture of his daughter for the first time and wants to meet her.

When Rachel finds out the news she is thrilled that her birth father has been found, but admits she is “disappointed” that her birth mother has not been found.

Rachel finally gets some answers

“I think you fear you’re going to get rejected. It’s just so nice he wants to meet me,” says Rachel.

Rachel has never met anyone she is related to and is feeling a whole range of emotions when she goes to see her birth father for the very first time.

After taking Covid tests so they can meet safely, Rachel and Kevin share an emotional hug as they are united.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you, I just didn’t know anything. I wish I had have known but I’m made up I’ve found my daughter,” Kevin tells her.

Father and daughter click straight away as they bond over their experiences and look through photos of their families.

Rachel says: “Finally speaking to someone who is actually related to me is like finding bits of yourself out again because you can see your personality in them. I’ve never had that before.

“It’s amazing we actually are connected. That’s my heritage and that’s my family.”

Kevin adds: “It’s a life-changing thing meeting Rachel. The past is the past and the future is the future. I want to move things forward and hopefully it will last forever.”

*Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace continues tonight on ITV at 9pm


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