A woman has opened up about wanting to find her father after he walked out on her and her mother when she was just 18-months old. 

Rachel Burch, 50, who was born in Wolverhampton to an English mother and Jamaican father, now lives in West Sussex with her husband of nineteen years, Clive, her three stepchildren.

In emotional scenes, filmed for ITV’s Long Lost Family, she explained it was hard growing up in a small village of West Sussex as she was the only person of mixed race.

Rachel, who works in the NHS as an operating theatre practitioner, was born in the early 1970s and her father was only around for 18 months of her life.

She said: ‘My dad left my life when I was 18-months old. I’ve never known anything about him. I feel like half of me is missing.’ 

Rachel Burch, 50, from West Sussex, has opened up about wanting to find her father after he walked out on her mother and her when she was just 18-months old

Rachel Burch, 50, from West Sussex, has opened up about wanting to find her father after he walked out on her mother and her when she was just 18-months old

Rachel Burch, 50, from West Sussex, has opened up about wanting to find her father after he walked out on her mother and her when she was just 18-months old

Rachel has no memory of him and didn’t know his name – only that he had the nickname of Limpy.

When Rachel was four, her mum met a man called John and they all moved to West Sussex. 

Although Rachel asked, her mother would not divulge her father’s name – until, 10 years ago, when Rachel and her husband were exploring the possibility of adopting or fostering, her mother gave Rachel the name to put on a form. Her father’s name was Errol Dawson.

The Long Lost Family researchers looked for a man of Jamaican descent in the UK called Errol Dawson on the show which gives Rachel some answers about her past. 

Rachel said: ‘We moved to a small village in West Sussex, when I came here I was the only person of mixed race.

‘My hair was very curly, my skin was darker, it was a totally different way of life down here, it’s a very middle class white area.

‘I did get picked on at school, when your a five-year-old it’s hard you just want to fit in. 

‘I think I did try to run away from school once, somebody had said something quite cruel that upset me. Lots of bullying, lots of name calling.’

In emotional scenes, filmed for ITV's Long Lost Family, she explained it was hard growing up in a small village of West Sussex as she was the only person of mixed race

In emotional scenes, filmed for ITV's Long Lost Family, she explained it was hard growing up in a small village of West Sussex as she was the only person of mixed race

In emotional scenes, filmed for ITV’s Long Lost Family, she explained it was hard growing up in a small village of West Sussex as she was the only person of mixed race

It comes after a grandmother opened up on last weeks show about how she gave her son up for adoption because she couldn’t afford to look after him.

Caroline Kinsey, 63, of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, gave birth to Simon when she was just 18.

Upon being told the news, her boyfriend and the father of the baby walked out on her.

And with no means to give the baby the sort of upbringing she wanted for him she made the painful decision to give him up.

In emotional scenes, filmed for Long Lost Family, Caroline told how she never held her baby as she knew if she did she wouldn’t have been able to let him go.

She said: ‘The decision to put him up for adoption was entirely my own decision.

‘I do believe that a family unit should be a mother and father because you work as a team to raise a family.

‘I didn’t have any money. And I wouldn’t have been able to give a baby the upbringing and childhood I wanted to give him.’

Recovering in hospital after the birth, Caroline only saw Simon – who weighed eight pounds three ounces – twice.

Rachel, who works in the NHS as an operating theatre practitioner, was born in the early 1970s and her father was only around for 18 months of her life

Rachel, who works in the NHS as an operating theatre practitioner, was born in the early 1970s and her father was only around for 18 months of her life

Rachel, who works in the NHS as an operating theatre practitioner, was born in the early 1970s and her father was only around for 18 months of her life

She added: ‘I never held him because if I had’ve held him I wouldn’t have been able to have given him up.

‘I can just remember this little bundle with lots of black hair. And that was the last time I saw him.’

Caroline later went on to marry her husband David and have twin children, Tom and Amy, now both 23.

Yet the decision she made decades earlier had always haunted her.

Even 40 years on, she admits she still thinks of him every day.

She said: ‘It hasn’t stopped me from thinking about him every day for the last 43 years.’

When filmed for Long Lost Family, she held up her diary from the year she lost Simon.

She said: ‘This is my 1980 diary that opens automatically to the page when I had Simon.

‘It also tells me the day I came home alone.’

She added: ‘I would love to find Simon and make sure that he’s had a happy life. It will put me at peace.’

Viewers can find out if Rachel Burch found her father on Monday night’s Long Lost Family, which airs at 9pm on ITV 

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