England

Woman reunited with dad after Facebook friend hint

Trevor and Karen Image copyright Trevor Sinden
Image caption Karen Harris has been reunited with her birth father Trevor Sinden after 56 years

A woman has been reunited with her birth father after Facebook suggested they became friends.

Karen Harris, 56, from Penryn, Cornwall, who was adopted in the early 1960s, said she and Trevor Sinden were "on cloud nine" after being put in touch by the social network.

Mrs Harris and Mr Sinden, 72, shared a "big hug" when they met for the first time this week.

She had recognised his name on Facebook, reports the Falmouth Packet.

Mrs Harris said she was shocked when her father, who lives near Maidstone, in Kent, came up as a suggested friend on Facebook on 26 November.

"I was just playing around really and all of sudden I came across him," she told the BBC.

Image copyright Trevor Sinden
Image caption Trevor Sinden, who was a teenager in the 1960s, said he had known he had a child but not whether it had been a boy or a girl

"I had to step back for the whole day, working out am I prepared to face that again, [maybe] face rejection.

"Maybe he does not want to know me."

However, Mr Sinden, from Lenham, Kent, responded almost immediately.

He said he recognised Mrs Harris as soon as she sent a picture of herself, as he has three other daughters with similar features.

"She is just unmistakable," he said, describing their reunion as "amazing".

Mr Sinden said he and Mrs Harris's birth mother were 16 and living in Croydon when she became pregnant in the early 1960s, when having a child out of marriage was taboo.

He said he thought of his child over the years but did not even know whether he was father to a girl or a boy.

Image copyright Trevor Sinden
Image caption Mrs Harris said she and her father shared a big hug when they met for the first time

After daily messages and Facebook chats, they decided to meet in Lyme Regis, Dorset, roughly halfway between Cornwall and Kent.

"We had a big hug and we embraced for quite a while," said Mrs Harris, who lived in Coventry after she was adopted.

"In fact, a stranger went past and said 'I hope you know one another', and I said 'no we don't, really'."

Mrs Harris said she and her birth father would definitely keep in touch.

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