Separated at birth: The young couple who got together as strangers… then found a photo of them both as babies

When Tom Halloran and Laura Pardoe first met, they thought they were complete strangers to one another.

But when Mr Halloran introduced Miss Pardoe to his mother, she thought there was something vaguely familiar about her son's new girlfriend.

Indeed, his mother attributed Laura's surname to that of a fellow mother she had met at a maternity class, more than twenty years ago.

Together at last: Laura Pardoe and Tom Hallorhan thought they had met at college, but they actually knew each other 18 years before

Together at last: Laura Pardoe and Tom Halloran, seen here last month, thought they had met at
college, but they were first introduced at Tom's first birthday party, 18 years beforehand

Tom's mother made the remarkable discovery after looking at a photograph taken at Tom’s first birthday party – with baby Laura amongst the attendees.

Their two mothers hadn’t seen each other since the photograph was taken
as they had gone their separate ways.

The couple who met whilst they were both studying at college, started dating on New Year’s Day in 2010 – completely unaware of one another's existence.

Miss Pardoe, 20, who is studying
psychology at Leeds University, said: ‘We just couldn’t believe it when
Tom’s mum found that photograph of us both at Tom’s first birthday

‘When we met at college we’d had no idea that we’d ever met him before – let alone that I’d actually been at his first birthday.

‘To see myself on the photograph was uncanny. It feels like we have known each other forever – and we actually have.’

Happy birthday! Laura Pardoe and her mother, Sue (right), with Tom Hallorhan and his mother, Eva (left)

Happy birthday! Laura Pardoe and her mother, Sue (right), with Tom Halloran and his mother, Eva (left)

Miss Pardoe added: ‘I’d seen glimpses
of Tom at college, but I’d never spoken to him. Then towards the end of
that year we started to talk to one another.

‘We then got together on New Year’s
Day and became a couple. But we had no idea that we’d known each other
all those years before.’

The coincidence was only revealed five
months after they had started dating. Miss Pardoe was introduced to
Tom’s mother Eva Halloran in May last year.

Mrs Halloran thought there was
something familiar about her surname – and it was then that she recalled
an old friend she had met years previously at her antenatal classes.

She went into the loft at the family
home and dug out some old photographs. She found the picture of Tom’s
first birthday party – and they discovered that Miss Pardoe was also on
the photograph.

Miss Pardoe said: ‘I was at Tom’s house and his mother decided to add me as a friend on her Facebook page.

‘I didn’t tell her my surname straight
away, but then when we were sat at the computer typing in my name,
that's when she recognised it.

'I would have never recognised Tom from
that photograph. He was a small fat baby with red hair. Now he’s slim
and tall with dark hair'

‘She said that she’d met someone with my name at antenatal classes, and we worked out that it was my mother.

‘It really was unbelievable. But then
when she went to get out the photograph of Tom’s birthday party, that
was remarkable to see myself on the photo from all those years ago.’

Mrs Halloran also found the birthday card written to Tom from Miss Pardoe’s mother.

Miss Pardoe said: ‘Tom’s mother had
kept all her old photographs as keepsakes, and she had also kept my
birthday card that my mother had brought to Tom’s party all those years
ago. It had been signed by my mother on behalf of me.’

The couple then went to tell Miss Pardoe’s parents of the amazing coincidence.

She added: ‘My mother was so shocked when I told her who Tom was. She is on the party photograph too, holding me as a baby.

‘She did remember Tom’s mum – she had never expected to see her again after all these years.

‘Tom’s family moved away shortly after that photograph was taken, and our mothers lost contact.

‘I would have never recognised Tom
from that photograph. He was a small fat baby with red hair. Now he’s
slim and tall with dark hair.’

The couple’s friends remain amazed by their meeting.

Miss Pardoe added: ‘It’s a really nice story to tell people, and it would be a good tale to tell on our wedding day.

‘Not many people can say they met
their partner as a newborn baby. Our parents love the fact that we’ve
found each other after all these years.

‘It makes you realise what a small
world it is. Tom and I are truly soulmates. It always felt like we’d
known each other forever – and now we’ve found the reason why.’