Three sisters searching for their brother on Long Lost Family have revealed how their mother was forced to choose between which child to give up for adoption by her family.
Nicki Goscomb, 55, and younger sisters Katherine Saunders, who has severe learning difficulties, and Becky Lazell, all from Stroud, will appear on ITV’s Long Lost Family, hosted by presenter Davina McCall, on Monday night.
They were all raised by their single mother Janet, who fell pregnant with her first child, at the age of 15, before giving birth to another child 18 months later, GloucestershireLive reported.
But Nicki reveals her grandmother, gave Janet an ultimatum – give up Nicholas or she’d ring social services and get both children taken into care.
The 55-year-old says she lives with the guilt of her mother’s decision every day, saying: ‘He was sacrificed so that I could stay… It makes me feel guilty and sad because I was kept with Mum and he was given away.’
Sisters Nicki Goscomb (right), 55, and younger sisters Katherine Saunders (left), who has severe learning difficulties, and Becky Lazell (centre), all from Stroud, will appear on ITV’s Long Lost Family, on Monday
Appearing on the programme, Nicki opens up about her mother’s decision to keep both babies, despite falling pregnant at such a young age.
Janet refused to give her baby up for adoption, causing a rift with her family, because at the time it was common for young unmarried mothers to give their children away.
Nicki explains: ‘She brought shame onto the family and was thrown out. It must have been absolutely terrifying.’
She says as a teenager, she learnt that she had a brother after finding a birth certificate for a Nicholas James, born 18 months after her, in a tin of papers.
As a teenager, Nicki discovered that she had a brother, after finding a birth certificate for a Nicholas James, born 18 months after her, in a tin of papers. Pictured: Dave Ashford, Nicki, Becky and Katherine’s brother
She confronted her mother, who told her how she was forced to give away Nicki’s brother, whom she’d named Nicholas James.
Janet met Becky and Katherine’s father when she was in her 20s and hoped to settle down with him, but she ended up alone and without support again.
Becky says their mother hadn’t wanted to give Nicholas up, and her dream was one day meeting him.
Yet she reveals Janet sadly died 14 years ago, never forgetting about her son.
Nicki goes to meet her brother Dave, who is married with two children and lives in Poole, during the show
Becky says their mother hadn’t wanted to give Nicholas up, and her dream was one day meeting him (pictured: [L-R] Becky, Dave, Nicki)
Becky says they need to find him, with Nicki adding: ‘I just want to say sorry that he wasn’t part of our life when he should have been.’
Long Lost Family specialist intermediary finds Nicholas has been adopted by the Ashford family, and is now called David and known as Dave.
Nicki goes to meet her brother Dave, who is married with two children and lives in Poole, during the show.
Her brother explained he had looked into his adoption 16 years ago, but stopped because he didn’t want to upset his adoptive parents.
Appearing on the programme, Nicki says she had lived with the guilt of being the one who was kept by her mother for years
He tells Nicki that learning his birth mother has died has been ‘hard’ because he’s ‘never going to see her’, but is thrilled that he has three sisters keen to meet him.
Davina meets up with Nicki and Becky, telling them how much it would have meant if their mother had been able to meet her son, learning that they’ll be able to fulfil their mother’s dying wish.
They go on to meet in a hotel in Cheltenham, the town where Dave last saw his birth mother.
Becky and Nicki explain that their late mother ‘would have been thrilled’ that the family has reunited
Dave calls the experience ‘overwhelming’, explaining: ‘Like a firework display going off inside… amazing’ and tells Nicki she shouldn’t feel guilty for being the one who stayed with their mother.
Becky says: ‘I think Mum would have been absolutely thrilled… it would have meant the world to her.’
The sisters decide it would have been too much for Katherine to meet Dave on camera, but they have met.
- Nicki and Becky meet Dave on ITV’s Long Lost Family on Monday, February 8, 2021 at 9pm