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Sunday 4 June 2023 Dublin: 13°C
"Meeting my birth father for the first time was really a unique experience."
TV3′s Adoption Stories has followed up on Dan, adopted from Romania when he was three.

PastedImage-17797 Screenshot via Flawless Films / TV3 Dan was adopted by the Ryan family in Naas when the was three years old. Screenshot via Flawless Films / TV3 / TV3

FOUR YEARS AGO, TV3′s Adoption Stories first met Dan, a Romanian-born Kildare man who’d been adopted into the Ryan family from Naas.

Back in 2012, he went to Romania to find his father and through his birth auntie he managed to track him down.

Dan discovered the conditions his father was living in, appalling by anyone’s standards. Damp floors in a lean-to near a church with the wind whistling in.

His auntie arranged that they would all meet, and a home video of their emotional reunion captured the pair embracing for the first time.

PastedImage-76377 Screenshot via Flawless Films / TV3 Dan (right), meeting his birth father (left). Screenshot via Flawless Films / TV3 / TV3

“Meeting my birth father for the first time was really a unique experience,” he explains.

He was dressed in a suit, they cleaned him up cause he used to have a big beard, he looked a bit homeless, which is what he was effectively. He had all the signs, but  I was surprised at how well he looked considering his lifestyle.

Dan was adopted by Mike and Anne Ryan when he was three years old and grew up as the younger brother to the Ryans’ three daughters.

Mike Ryan also describes the surreal moment that Dan met his birth father in Romania.

“It was surreal in a way, watching Dan hugging a stranger. There was this strong kid with this very skinny man and giving him a hug, he almost broke him in two.”

PastedImage-78930 Screenshot via Flawless Films / TV3 Dan's birth father's home in Romania. Screenshot via Flawless Films / TV3 / TV3

After he met his father, Dan organised a proper home for his father. Sadly, he was not able to meet his mother who died a year before he travelled to Romania, Dan suspects she was murdered.

Now four years later, Adoption Stories is following up on Dan’s journey. Since then he has discovered that he has an older sister in southern Italy. She had also been adopted and her and her family travelled to Ireland to meet Dan and the Ryans for the first time.

Dan has also been involved in helping other adopted people from Romania find their birth families.

Adoption Stories – What Happened Next airs tonight at 8.30pm on TV3.

 Read: ‘If I was a scientist I’d invent a time machine, and go visit my birth mother’ >

Read: My first daughter was taken from me at 18, but I never gave up hope of meeting her again >

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