Mother reunited with son she had adopted 45 years ago by travelling to Australia using Who Wants To Be A Millionaire winnings
Dawn Harkins, 61, from Wales, used 75,000 to find son Glyn in Australia
11:26 GMT, 13 August 2012
A mother has been reunited with the son she gave up for adoption 45 years ago.
And it seems she has Chris Tarrant to thank.
When Welsh teashop-owner Dawn Harkins, 61, learned that her long-lost son Glyn was living in Australia, she decided to go on Tarrant's ITV game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire to try and win enough to fund a trip.
Dawn Harkins with her 75,000 question on ITV's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
Luckily, the mum-of-three won 75,000 and immediately flew 10,000 miles to meet her son.
Speaking from Brisbane, she said: 'I never thought I'd see my son again so it's amazing to actually be out here.
'No mum ever forgets their child and I'm so glad I got the chance to meet Glyn and to give him a great big hug.
'I might not have gone home a millionaire – but this trip is worth more than that anyway. I feel like the richest woman in the world.'
Dawn Harkins reunited with Glyn, the son she gave up for adoption 45 years ago, after using Who Wants To Be A Millionaire winnings to visit him in Australia
Dawn was just 15 years old and single when she gave birth to her first baby, a boy she named Keith but who was later renamed Glyn by his adoptive parents.
Living in a mother and baby home, Dawn spent only six weeks with her new baby before her parents had him adopted.
'I had no say on it at the time,' said Dawn, who had only reluctantly given her son him away. 'I was just 15 and in 1967 you didn't have an option.
'I ran to find them taking my baby away. I asked if I could give him a kiss and that was the last I saw of him.'
Dawn, a retired factory machinist, went on to marry and have two other children, but she never forgot her first born.
Her daughter Samantha, 41, began searching for Glyn to help her mum come to terms with her past, and just three months later, last year, she tracked her half-brother down in Brisbane, Australia, by using detective work and adoption forms.
He had been adopted by a family from Manchester and emigrated to Australia as a teenager.
Dawn Harkins, front centre, with her children Samantha and Brian, right, her long-lost son Glyn, left, his wife Alison, far left, and their daughters Natalie and Jessica, top left
Dawn said: 'When Sami told me she had found him, I just couldn't believe it. It was just before my birthday and she said: “Happy Birthday Mum I've found him”.
'My children have always known they had a brother and Samantha decided to track him down. It took three months but eventually she found him.
'I was worried that we might face rejection but, fortunately, he wanted to get to know us too.
'I spoke to him a lot on the telephone but I could never have afforded the flights to get there.
'But going on Millionaire made it possible for me to go down to Australia to see him for the first time since he was a six-week-old tot.'
DAWN'S 75,000 QUESTION
Which city is served by Louis Armstrong international airport
She opted for 50/50 between New Orleans and Atlanta.
She chose New Orleans…and was correct.
Dawn flew to Brisbane with her daughter Samantha and son Brian, 40, and burst into tears when she met Glyn, his wife Alison and their two daughters, Jessica, 15, and Natalie, 14, for the first time.
Now a grandmother of six, she said: 'It's incredible to meet them, it's like having a whole new family who I never knew about.
'I love it out here in Australia and I’m looking forward to making plenty more trips over. The money I won has made all the difference to us.
'He's had a very happy life and for that I'm very grateful. It was so nice giving him a big hug again.'
Glyn, who runs a flooring company in Brisbane, said: 'It is fantastic to be with my mother after all those years. I'm so glad she got those questions right.'