Eighty-two years after her infant daughter was taken away by the state of New York, a 96-year-old woman has been reunited with the child she never knew.

Lena Pierce gave birth to her firstborn at age 14—a baby named Eva May—in a hospital in Utica, New York. Pierce raised her for six months, until the state took over custody, claiming Pierce was too young to be a fit mother. Eventually, the child was adopted by a family on Long Island and renamed Betty Morrell.

After Morrell’s adoptive parents died in her twenties, she embarked on a decades-long search for her biological mother. Meanwhile, Pierce remained in upstate New York. Although she married twice and had seven other children, she says she always wondered what happened to her first child.

Eventually, Morrell’s aunt “slipped” and revealed her original name and birth city. Morrell used those clues to identify the hospital where she was born and find a birth certificate. Subsequent searches on the website ancestry.com allowed Morrell to track down Millie Hawk, one of Pierce’s daughters. This online connection paved the way for an emotional reunion between Morrell, who is now 82 and resides in Florida, and Pierce, a great-grandmother who lives in an assisted living home in Pennsylvania.

The two talked on the phone and eventually met face-to-face in Binghamton, New York. “My life is complete at this point,” Morrell, raised as an only child, reflected. You can watch footage of the moment above, courtesy of New York's PIX11 News.

All images courtesy of YouTube.

[h/t Daily Mail]