Reunited

82 years later, mother meets daughter she was forced to give up for adoption

(screen grab via CNN)

A mother and daughter separated in 1933 made an improbable and joyful reunion last month — the culmination of a search that spanned five decades. Local news cameras were at an airport in Binghamton, New York, to capture the emotional meeting between Lena Pierce, 96, and her long-lost daughter, 82-year-old Betty Morrell. Pierce gave birth to Morrell when she was just 14 years old in 1933. Six months after Eva May — as Pierce had named her — was born, state officials deemed Pierce too young to raise her. The state took Eva and put her up for adoption. Eva was adopted by a family in Long Island, New York. Her new parents renamed her Betty and raised her as an only child. She dreamed of having siblings, but never did. In her 20s, both of her adoptive parents died, leaving her largely alone in the world. She thought about her birth mother and began a search for her that would take half a century to complete. Meanwhile, Pierce went on to have several other children and is now a great-grandmother who says she “can’t remember back that far.” But she always wondered where Eva May was. “I worried about her,” Pierce said. Little did she know, a search for her was on — a search that ended at the airport in an emotional embrace between a mother and daughter who hadn’t seen one another in more than eight decades. “My life is complete at this point,” Morrell said of finding her mother, a fate that likely wouldn’t have been realized had someone close to her not inadvertently revealed some crucial clues about her past.

Read the full story and watch footage of their reunion at CNN.

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