A mother has finally reunited with her daughter 50 years after her partner secretly took the child to Morocco to be raised by his strict sister who couldn’t have children.
Birmingham-based Hazel Chick, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, was left “crying every night” for months when her 18-month-old daughter Sanae was taken away from her by her partner.
Her ex-husband claimed he was taking their child to Morocco to meet his relatives, however four weeks later her returned without Sanae.
He told Hazel that he had given their daughter to his sister to care for, because she couldn’t have children of her own.
Sanae grew up thinking her aunt and uncle were her biological parents. She had an unhappy childhood; she was forced to leave school at eleven years old and worked at home until she had an arranged marriage aged nineteen with a “controlling” husband.
After 30 years, she was eventually told the truth about her parents by a distant family member and she moved to England with her four children in search of her mother.
Sanae, who is now happily married to someone else and has a fifth child, contacted Long Lost Family for help, and in emotional scenes which aired last night, June 27, she was finally reunited with her mother Hazel.
Sanae recalled of her childhood: “I had a hard life in Morocco. My parents were very strict, especially my father.
“If you do something wrong, he’s going to beat you. I had to stay at home, doing the cleaning, the washing or sewing clothes.”
The situation only grew worse when she was 19 and was married off to a man over 20 years her senior.
She said: “It was an arranged marriage. He’s very, very in control. He liked to think I was his slave.”
Sanae had four children and was almost thirty when a distant family member, from England, revealed a devastating secret – that she was not who she thought she was.
She recalled: “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.”
After finding out that she was born in England and her mother is there, Sanae went to the British Embassy in Rabat and traced her British birth certificate.
Then, as a British citizen, Sanae move to the UK with her children. She is now happily remarried and surrounded by family.
But without knowing her birth mother, she felt she could not feel truly complete. She’s spent 20 years living in Britain and searching 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.