This month, a 42-year-old man from Virginia finally met his birth mother after being stolen from her at birth.
When Jimmy Lippert Thyden first encountered Maria Angelica Gonzalez in August at her house in Valdivia, Chile, he greeted her with a hearty “Hola, Mama” in Spanish. He said he loved her very much, and they hugged with tears in their eyes.
Maria Angelica Gonzalez’s child was taken from her arms and pronounced dead shortly after his delivery forty-two years ago.
Thyden remembers his biological mother telling him that he would never know how many oceans of tears she shed over him or how many times she begged God to grant her the chance to discover his fate.
Thyden was joined by his wife and two young daughters to see his long-lost relatives. Thyden was also introduced to his biological siblings for the first time.
In April, Thyden started his search for his birth mother and extended family after reading a news article about other adoptees from Chile who had been reconnected with their biological relatives.
A genetic test from the MyHeritage online service verified his claims of being a native Chilean. A first-cousin match was also found for him on the service.
Nos Buscamos has worked with the genealogy website MyHeritage to hand out free genetic testing kits to adoptees and anyone who believes they were victimized by child trafficking in Chile.
Thyden provided his cousin with his adoption documents, which revealed his birth mother’s address and the name Maria Angelica Gonzalez. The cousin was able to help him find his mother.
The non-profit organization Nos Buscamos in Chile was also instrumental in locating Thyden’s birth information. He was born prematurely in Santiago.
Thyden claims that he was put in an incubator after being removed from Gonzalez’s care. The hospital staff then sent her home, and when she came back for him, she was informed that he had died.
His adoption was a ‘counterfeit adoption.’ Human rights violations, including the trafficking of children, occurred often throughout Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s seventeen-year dictatorship.
Approximately 50,000 newborns were stolen from their Chilean homes between the 1950s and the 1990s, according to Nos Buscamos.