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Emotional Clare couple reunited with son they gave up as a baby on Long Lost Family

The couple had fallen in love as teenagers in Ireland in the 1970s but Phyllis soon became pregnant, and aware of the scandal this would cause, the pair fled their Catholic community and travelled to England.

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Kevin and Phyllis are reunited with their son

Kevin and Phyllis are reunited with their son

Kevin and Phyllis are reunited with their son

The emotional moment when an Irish couple are finally reunited with the son they had sought for more than 40 years was the highlight of last night's Long Lost Family TV show.

Phyllis and Kevin Haran, from Co Clare, are seen in tears as they finally meet their now adult first-born son.

As a baby Sean, as the couple called him, had been given to a Spanish family by a Catholic adoption agency.

Despite promises to return him to his young parents once they were more stable, they never saw him again.

The couple had fallen in love as teenagers in Ireland in the 1970s but Phyllis soon became pregnant, and aware of the scandal this would cause, the pair fled their Catholic community and travelled to England.

They rented a room together and gained some casual work. Six months later, their little boy, Sean was born.

“He was gorgeous, 7lb 2oz, a fine healthy baby,” Phyllis recalls. “We were young, we were happy and excited, he was a beautiful little baby,” added Kevin.

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Dad Kevin on Long Lost Family

Dad Kevin on Long Lost Family

Dad Kevin on Long Lost Family

But after just five weeks, their landlady caught them living together out of wedlock and demanded they leave her flat within 24 hours.

Homeless, jobless and desperate to put their son's interests first, they agreed through an agency to place him in the care of a family, with the possibility of adoption if they couldn't find their feet.

Phyllis says: “It was very difficult, having him and keeping him for five weeks and then having to give him up. I thought we’d get him back again.”

However, when they found jobs and a flat and returned to retrieve their son, the couple were told by a judge in court that he would be better off staying with the family who’d taken him in.

“We loved him and we didn’t want him adopted, we never wanted him adopted,” says Kevin, who now runs a guest house with wife Phyllis.

“But the judge looked at us and said ‘you're young, you come from big families in Ireland, I'm sure you're going to have plenty more children yourselves’,” recalls Kevin.

“‘The people who have Sean, they're in the position to look after a child where you are not and you're doing them a good deed so I order that the adoption be finalised’.”

His wife adds: “I couldn't believe it. I felt betrayed, devastated. It's horrible.”

But Kevin told her they would keep searching and take him back.

The couple married and had more children before returning to Ireland, but sadly, in 2008, they lost their other son Ryan, who was killed in a traffic accident, aged 24.

Speaking about Sean, Kevin says: “We still need to find him, and find that he's happy and that love will always be there, even if we never meet him it will always be there for him.”

Phyllis and Kevin finally contacted Long Lost Family after more than 40 years of searching for their first-born son.

They discover that Sean’s name had been changed to Ruben Molinero and he was now living in a small mountain town west of Madrid as a member of Spain's elite mountain rescue team.

He had moved to Spain when he was four years old with his adoptive parents where he now lives with his wife and 11-year-old son.

Speaking to co-presenter Nicky Campbell after being discovered, Ruben says: “It was a big surprise. I didn't expect them to look for me.

“When I was young, my feeling was that they had abandoned me so I didn't want to look back, I just wanted to look forward.

“I know that my birth parents were teenagers. It seems they didn't have any money and had to give me up for adoption.”

After being told the situation, and how he was always wanted, an emotional Ruben adds: “I feel it's a shame. They just had difficulties and they weren't allowed to raise me. That makes me sad. I want to meet them and discover my roots and see what happens.”

In emotional scenes, the three are seen reunited in Ireland where they insist they would keep in touch and get to know each other.

“You were never abandoned, we fought for you, we went to court for you, but the judge thought we had nothing to offer you,” explains Kevin to his son.

“It makes me sad because things could've been different," says Ruben. “But we have to go forward and I want to get to know you and I want you to get to know me. I want to find out more about where I come from.”

He adds “Today is a special day. A new story starts and I hope it'll be a good one.”

Kevin continues: “It seems like we've known him forever. He's never been away. Let's hope he likes us as much as we like him.”

Long Lost Family Series 10 continues on Monday, January 25, 9pm.

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