A BRADFORD man is calling for a new law on adoption to be put in place, after only finding out the reality of his own situation at the age of 49 following a confidential leak.

Dennis Goldsmith, now of Pudsey, has had a torrid year with his health and the unexpected revelation at the end of August has left him “totally crushed.”

He said: “It’s destroyed everything in my life now, I don’t know which way to turn or where to go. I waited eight weeks for a counsellor, to talk to me on the phone. It’s a bit late for that.

“I’m going to have to grin and bear it but obviously I hope I can get some good from it. I’ve lost 31 years. I could have had two families – I wouldn’t have given up on my old family.”

The initial leak came about when a council officer was discussing something unrelated with one of Mr Goldsmith’s daughters, he said.

Mr Goldsmith himself wasn’t present at the time and was shocked when his daughter brought it up.

He said: “He had no right to mention me – the conversation wasn’t even about me.”

This sparked doubt in his mind and stimulated him to apply for a full birth certificate on August 31, but he was still not convinced it could be true.

Mr Goldsmith was told by the registry office there was no full birth certificate in his name and a possible reason for this could be that he was adopted.

Confirmation of this came on September 11, after Mr Goldsmith sent an application to the General Registry office on September 7.

He said: “I didn’t even believe it, right until the day it came through the post. I didn’t want it to be true – I went numb when I saw it in black and white.

“I don’t know who I am, even though I’ve got my name. I keep bumping into people and wondering if they’re related to me – I’m a nobody.”

Mr Goldsmith said his origins were kept a secret by his adopted family and that he was never to find out.

Since the life-changing news, more details of his background, which had been hidden away for decades, have unravelled.

Mr Goldsmith was born as “Stuart” on February 4, 1969, at St Luke’s Hospital in Bradford.

He believes his birth parents had him until he went into hospital at six months old for an operation on a hernia, which is when another individual took him on, and his name was changed to “Dennis” after the person’s partner.

Mr Goldsmith then experienced a number of different circumstances over the following years, before he was officially adopted, aged four, by the people he knew as “mum” and “dad” until recently.

Now, Mr Goldsmith is determined to ensure this kind of life-shattering revelation isn’t repeated and has even expressed a desire for a law to be implemented where every adoptee is told the truth when they turn 18-years-old.

He said: “There needs to be a law where you get told at a certain age – no one ever should have to go through this. I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience it.

“I’m going to write to Theresa May about it, I’m not going to leave it, I’m going to take it as far as I can.”

He added: “I would never have known otherwise, it would have been impossible to know. It’s not fair and I’d have preferred not to know at this stage – I’m not to get stressed.”

In April this year, Mr Goldsmith had to have open heart surgery, or face only having another year left to live, due to an ischemic heart disease and cardiac arrhythmia, he said.

This involved replacing an aortic valve, as well as having a bypass graft which meant taking a vein from his leg to use in his heart.

Three weeks later Mr Goldsmith suffered a cardiac arrest and his partner had to perform CPR, before paramedics restarted his heart using a defibrillator.

He said: “I was then placed into an induced coma to give my body the best chance possible and now suffer medical problems as a result of this.”

Mr Goldsmith issued a complaint to the council about the confidential leak and an investigation began in late September.

A letter to Mr Goldsmith from the Council on November 5 said: “Following completion of this investigation, I can confirm that Bradford Council has not breached or shared any of your personal information as the Council did not hold this information about you.

“The investigation revealed that a Council Officer communicated confidential information about you to a third party. The Council Officer was aware of this information in his own private capacity and not as a result of being a Council employee.

“He used this information in a manner both you and the Council would not expect, and this is very regrettable.”

The Council added, in the letter, that it would offer further support to Mr Goldsmith and that actions were being taken to prevent reoccurrence.

Mr Goldsmith, and his partner, had a meeting recently with some other council officers to further discuss the issue and they said it was revealed the staff member who originally leaked the information had left the Council.

A council spokesperson said: “We have offered appropriate support to those affected by this matter. The officer in question has left the Council’s employment. We are unable to comment further.”

Mr Goldsmith said the whole ordeal has left him with a lot of questions – something he feels he shouldn’t be facing at this time of life.

He said: “What’s my birth mother gone through? They would have had a connection with me in six months, it would have hurt them. They were very young, so I have nothing against them.

“I’d like to know them. I just don’t know, they could be dead, I don’t know what to expect – it could be delayed grief.”

Mr Goldsmith and his partner have been in touch with adoption support agency, PAC-UK, since September 18, but won’t receive more information about his adoption until the new year.