A Chilean man who was ‘adopted’ after his mother was told he had died in child birth has been reunited with her after 42 years.
A campaign group Nos Buscamos has reunited María Angélica González with her son after unearthing documents uncovering the wrongdoing.
Thyden had been born prematurely at a hospital in Santiago, Chile’s capital, and placed in an incubator.
González was told to leave the hospital, but when she returned to get her baby, she was told he had died and his body had been disposed of, according to the case file.
“I love you very much,” Jimmy Lippert Thyden told his mother in Spanish as they embraced amid tears.
“It knocked the wind out of me. ... I was suffocated by the gravity of this moment,” Thyden told The Associated Press in a video call after the reunion. “How do you hug someone in a way that makes up for 42 years of hugs?”
His journey to find the birth family he never knew began in April after he read news stories about Chilean-born adoptees who had been reunited with their birth relatives with the help of Nos Buscamos.
Thyden, who is a defence attorney in the US said: “The paperwork I have for my adoption tells me I have no living relatives. And I learned in the last few months that I have a mama and I have four brothers and a sister.”
Nos Buscamos estimates tens of thousands of babies were taken from Chilean families in the 1970s and 1980s, based on a report from the Investigations Police of Chile which reviewed the paper passports of Chilean children who left the country and never came back.
Constanza del Río, founder and director and Nos Buscamos. said: “The real story was these kids were stolen from poor families, poor women that didn’t know. They didn’t know how to defend themselves.
The child-trafficking coincided with many other human rights violations that took place during the 17-year reign of General Augusto Pinochet, who in 1973 led a Chilean coup to overthrow Marxist President Salvador Allende.
During the dictatorship, at least 3,095 people were killed, according to government figures, and tens of thousands more were tortured or jailed for political reasons.