50 years after her partner surreptitiously sent the child to Morocco to be raised by his strict sister who was unable to have children, the mother has finally reconnected with her daughter.
When her partner took her 18-month-old daughter Sanae from Birmingham-based Hazel Chick, who has Parkinson’s illness, she was left “sobbing every night” for months.
Four weeks after saying he was taking his child to meet his relatives in Morocco, her ex-husband returned without Sanae.
He explained to Hazel that his sister was unable to have children of her own, therefore he had handed his daughter to her for care.
Sanae believed her aunt and uncle were her parents when she was a child. She had a difficult childhood, was forced to drop out of school at age 11, and worked at home until she was nineteen, when she was pushed into an arranged marriage with a “controlling” husband.
She finally learned the truth about her parents after 30 years from a distant relative, and she then travelled to England with her four children in pursuit of her mother.
After contacting Long Lost Family for assistance, Sanae—who is now successfully married to another person and has a fifth child—finally connected with her mother Hazel in the poignant moments that aired yesterday night, June 27.
Sanae remembered her early existence in Morocco as being difficult.
My parents, especially my father, were very strict.
“He will beat you if you do something wrong. I had to stay at home and take care of the laundry, cleaning, and sewing.”
When she was 19 and married off to a man over 20 years older than her, the issue only got worse.
She uttered: “It was a prearranged union. He has absolute control. He like to act like I was his property.”
When a distant family relative from England discovered that Sanae was not who she thought she was, she had four children and was almost thirty years old.
“I found out the truth: my father and my mum, it’s not my real family… All my life is fake.
“I feel like my heart is broken. You feel all your life is a lie. I want to know my real mother. I hope she loved me. Like I love her.”
Sanae visited the British Embassy in Rabat to locate her British birth certificate after learning that she was born in England and that her mother still resides there.
Sanae then relocates to the UK with her kids after obtaining British citizenship. Now happily remarried, she is surrounded by her family.
However, She believed, that she could not feel really complete without knowing her birth mother.
She has lived in Britain for 20 years while looking for her mother.
She said: “From my heart I wish to meet her one time in my life. See her, hug her because it’s so hard you know because it’s my mum.”
Her wish finally became reality.
The Long Lost Family team found Hazel still living in Birmingham, and when told about her discovered daughter, she said: “I am over the moon. I’m overjoyed. […] to actually see my daughter before I pass on.”
“Since her dad took her away, I’ve never, never stopped thinking about her,” the mother added.
After fifty years apart, mother and daughter were finally reunited in emotional scenes on yesterday’s programme.
“Today has meant everything to me. She is my life not in my life, she is my life. I love her, I always have, I always will… I’m glad she’s back in my life,” said Hazel.
“Today is the best day, an amazing day,” added Sanae.