Ryon Horne (from left), a video producer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and his brothers, Byron Horne and Tyson Horne, set out on a quest to find their dad’s first-born son, who was put up for adoption against the father’s wishes. 
Photo: Tyson Horne
Photo: Tyson Horne

Lost brother

Outside the center for unwed mothers, Alan Horne – a black, 6-foot-2, 200-plus pound former offensive lineman on his high school football team — waited in the dark. The weather was typical for late March in Paterson, N.J. — cold with no sight of spring. And the hour was late.

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Antonette, the product of a traditional Italian family whom everyone called Toni, was in her third trimester as she sneaked out the window and climbed into the car with the father of her unborn child.

With his barefoot girlfriend at his side, no plan at hand and very little money, Alan drove them to his older sister Darlene’s apartment nearby.

Where the hell you two going? she blurted.

Alan paced the apartment. He didn’t know what the cops might do if they caught him with Toni, but he was more frightened by the thought of losing his unborn son to adoption.

It was 1969, and Alan and Toni were teenagers set to become parents in a time when society forbade their union.

Get the rest of the story here, and see video interviews with Ryon Horne and his brothers. You'll also find more photos.

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