Mother and daughter reunited after 56 years apart

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – A Sioux Falls mom and daughter reunited after mom said goodbye to her newborn over five decades ago.

This is a moment for which Marlys Hand has been waiting for 56 years: a chance for mother and daughter to be together again.

56 years ago at the age of 16, Marlys Hand became pregnant with a baby girl.

“I had a tough decision to make,” she said. “I was still living at home and I knew it would really burden my parents who were older. But I also wanted her to have a mother and a father. I didn’t even let the father know. He was in the service and he never contacted me after he went back.”

So she got help from Lutheran Social Services to find a new family for her daughter.

“I’ve always wondered where she is, where she was and how she was doing. I would’ve given anything to find her, but I didn’t feel that was right of me since I let her be adopted at birth,” Hand said.

Diana Brown grew up in Dallas, South Dakota, but has been living in Kansas.

“I’ve always wondered about what she looked like, you know,” Brown said. “But I did have a wonderful family. She did a good thing by me.”

For her birthday, she asked her husband for an Ancestry.com subscription. That’s how she found her biological mom.

“I actually got in contact with her sister’s grandson, right,” Brown said. “And he contacted her and then we started talking.”

“It went from there,” Hand said.

They were reconnected in March of this year, and today, Brown made the drive to Sioux Falls from Kansas to finally meet her mom in person.

“I’m just so happy to see her,” Hand said.

“I am too,” Brown said.

Sunday, Brown also had a chance to meet her biological mom’s family.

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