#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 2°C Saturday 23 January 2021

Aged 61, actor discovers he was adopted: 'I went from being an only child to the eldest of seven'

Alan Stanford says, ‘Knowing you haven’t been forgotten is so important’

AT THE AGE of 61, actor Alan Stanford discovered he was adopted.

It happened when a work opportunity came up which meant he needed a green card and so, for the first time, he had to apply for a full birth certificate.


That was when he started the search for his birth mother, but being an only child with both parents dead, there was nobody to answer his questions.

In ‘Adoption Stories’ he did manage to find out who his mother was but she had passed away in 2009.

However, he also discovered he had six half siblings in Aldershot in England – who he is now in contact with. His sister Eileen describes them as ‘The Magnificent Seven’, while Stanford says:

I went from being an only child to the eldest of seven.

family Source: TV3

Eileen was the only one who knew of his existence. She believes that her mother never forgave herself for giving him up.

“At the age of 14 … she told me about you and how difficult it was to give you up and that she had to part with you.”

Alan is happy to hear that his mother never forgot him, saying:

Knowing that you haven’t been forgotten is so important. That’s what matters most.

“The two words that have never been used are ‘step’ and ‘half’, I’m not a step brother, I’m not a half brother, I’m a brother. You realise how wonderful it is to have siblings.”

Another sister describes how Alan is now part of the family, saying, “He’s blood and he’s family, he’s like a glove, he fits.” Alan added:

Things about yourself that you couldn’t explain, suddenly become explained when you realise where you came from.

However, his family don’t know who his father might have been.

The series finale of ‘Adoption Stories – What Happened Next’ airs tonight at 8.30pm on TV3.

Read: “Meeting my birth father for the first time was really a unique experience.”>

About the author:

Read next: