Saturday 22 October 2016

Woman abandoned as a 'baby in a box' appeals for help to find parents


Elizabeth Ryland. Inset: Elizabeth when she was found as a baby
Elizabeth Ryland. Inset: Elizabeth when she was found as a baby
Elizabeth Ryland
Elizabeth when she was found as a baby

a WOMAN who was left abandoned as a newborn on a busy Manchester street more than 50 years ago is making a public appeal to find her Irish birth parents.

Elizabeth Ryland (57) doesn't even know her exact date of birth after being left alone on Grafton Street, Manchester, in March, 1958 - when she was only about five days old.

Elizabeth has no clue about her family's background, but DNA tests she took six weeks ago revealed that she was 86pc Irish.

She told the Herald that it would be "incredible" if she could locate her Irish parents

"I had DNA tests done about eight years ago which said there was a likelihood that I was Irish, but when I went to another expert in Edinburgh he said 'everyone is related to the Irish, you might be Irish but don't get too excited about it'," she said.

"I took another test with Ancestry DNA and, to my absolute surprise, it said I was 86pc Irish."

She also believes that the Irish couple may not have been the ones to have abandoned her all those years ago.

"My birth parents might not know that I was abandoned," said Elizabeth. "They could have come over to Manchester at a young age, had the child and been told 'the baby is being taken care of' or 'the baby will be adopted'.


"I might have been abandoned by them but you can't really assume that," she added.

There was no documentation left with Elizabeth when she was found abandoned on March 8, 1958.

"I was left in a cardboard box, well dressed and wrapped in oilskin," said Elizabeth.

Elizabeth, who has two daughters of her own, Lauren (30) and Sarah (28), says the search is something she's been putting off for a long time, but she hasn't given up hope.

A back injury kept her out of work at an adoption agency for nine months, with the break from work giving her the opportunity to pursue her true identity.

"I've just never been able to devote the time to myself before now. It was the first time since I was 17 I was without a job to go to. I'd done my degree while working, and the same with my masters," she said.

"I've always been busy, so all the barriers and excuses I had not to do this were taken away."


Elizabeth has spread her appeal to Manchester radio stations and Irish TV, and told the Herald that she is not looking to judge the people for not keeping her.

"I think that's important," she said.

"For someone that has no identity, to be told they're Irish is absolute massive, and it would be incredible if I could meet my birth mother or father," she added.

Anyone who may have information about Elizabeth's background is asked to email her at elizabethrylands58@gmail.com.

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