Carshalton brothers reunited for Christmas after 40 years
7:10am Friday 6th January 2012 in Latest News
Two brothers given up for adoption more than 40 years ago have enjoyed their first Christmas dinner together.
Stephen Hopper and Martyn Haynes were the youngest of eight siblings, but the only two given up by their parents, Shirley and Raymond Robinson, in Carshalton.
Mr Hopper, a 46-year-old coach driver from County Durham, had searched for his family for 15 years before, incredibly, his brother, Tony Robinson, who lived in the same county, phoned him.
Mr Robinson, had come across an unanswered card and letter Mr Hopper had sent to their late mother as he sorted out her effects.
Mr Robinson called his four sisters “to give them the fantastic news”, stirring up childhood memories of a second adopted brother, a subject not talked about in the former family home.
Frustratingly, the adoption agency declined to give out Mr Haynes’ details and, because he had changed his name from that of his adopted family, it looked like he would never be found.
However, after Mr Haynes’ adoptive mother died, leaving details of his genetic family in an envelope, it was he who tracked down the family who had been searching for him.
Mr Robinson, 58, a sales manager for Associated Newspapers, said: “I remember vaguely mum telling me that Stephen had been adopted, but from about 11 to 15, I wasn’t at home much, I was boarding at a school in Guilford and I had no idea about Martyn.
“About ten years ago, when mum died, I was sorting her paperwork out and I came across a letter and a Christmas card from Stephen which, fortunately, had a phone number on it.”
Mr Haynes’ search ended when the 44-year-old bus driver, from London, received his files from the adoption agency that led him to Mr Robinson on Facebook.
For a second time, Mr Robinson found himself catching up with a long lost brother on the telephone and was struck by a number of similarities and coincidences.
His younger brothers, who sounded alike, worked in the same industry and the three brothers, and their father had all been football referees.
In the Seventies, Mr Haynes also unknowingly lived on the same south London estate as his four sisters who, with hindsight, believe they had once seen him.
A reunion, which took place at Mr Robinson’s home recently, has come too late for a fourth brother, Michael Robinson, a former shop manager who died in 2003, aged 43.
But the siblings – including Linda Robinson, 56, Carol Robinson, 54, Diane Leach, 53, and Marrion Raddon, 48, are looking forward to many more Christmases together.
Mr Hopper said: “We had no luck tracking down Martyn because, from what little we did know of him, we knew him as Ian.
“I was stunned when he eventually got in touch. I had tried to find him all these years, and now he has found us, just like Tony found me.
“It was a relief because I always knew I was adopted, but I always thought I was a twin, but it turns out I have a younger brother.”