A man from Virginia, United States (US), Jimmy Lippert Thyden, hugged his biological mother tightly for the first time after being separated for 42 years. Apparently, he was one of the victims of illegal adoption , where he was stolen when he was just born.
Thyden said he already knew he was adopted. He also knew that he was not born in the United States, but in Chile.
Thyden, who is a criminal lawyer, said that he never lacked anything. He was raised in Virginia by very loving and committed adoptive parents.
All that began to change in 2012 when his adoptive mother gave him the adoption papers. Thyden said that when he checked his adoption files, he found that there were many discrepancies and inconsistencies.
“There are three or four different stories about a story that are so different that they can’t all be true,” Thyden told CNN .
There is one document that says that he had no known father or mother. Other documents provide the birth mother’s name and address.
Meanwhile, other documents state that he has no living relatives. The fourth document stated that he had been given up for adoption a few days after his birth. Another document stated that he had been given up for adoption when he was two years old.
For years, Thyden wondered about its origins. He wanted to know more but didn’t know where to start or who to contact in Chile.
Until finally, several months ago his wife read about a similar case that happened to Scott Lieberman. From there, he began to become actively involved in uncovering the truth about his adoption.
Lieberman, a 42-year-old American from San Francisco, was also adopted from Chile and recently learned that he had been stolen as a baby.
That’s how Thyden learned about ‘Nos Buscamos’ (We Look for Each Other), a non-profit organization in Chile dedicated to helping people who were kidnapped as babies find their parents and families.
During the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, from 1973 to 1990, many babies were distributed to adoption agencies. Some children came from wealthy families, who in many cases gave up babies born out of wedlock. Other babies from poorer backgrounds were simply stolen.
In the past decade, CNN has documented several cases of Chilean babies stolen at birth.
Authorities in the country say that priests, nuns, doctors, nurses and others conspired to carry out illegal adoptions, with profit as the main motive.
Chilean officials say the number of stolen babies could be in the thousands, but the country’s investigation into the controversial adoptions remains incomplete.
Meanwhile several people who took part in illegal adoptions have died. Many of the clinics or hospitals where the babies were allegedly stolen no longer exist.
After contacting ‘ Nos Buscamos’ , Thyden said he received an email the next day from its director, Constanza del Rio, telling him to call her immediately.
He suggested doing a DNA test, which he did on April 17. With the help of MyHeritage, an online genealogy company, Thyden found a match within weeks.
When the match emerged, del Rio said Thyden’s next step was to call Maria Angelica Gonzalez, 69, a woman who for decades believed her son had died shortly after birth.
Del Rio said that Gonzalez was told that the baby’s body had been thrown in the trash. During the Pinochet dictatorship, when thousands of people were murdered and disappeared, asking too many questions or protesting in a violent manner could be dangerous.
Knowing the truth of his origins was both bitter and sweet for Thyden. He was happy to finally know the truth, but also sad about what his biological mother had experienced.
“He didn’t know about me because I was taken from him at birth, and he was told that I was dead and when he asked for my body, they told him that they had thrown it away. So, we never hugged,” Thyden said.
After three agonizing months, he was finally able to travel to Chile to give a hug to his biological mother who had to wait for 42 years.
When they met in the southern city of Valdivia last mid-August, he was finally able to say the words he had been practicing for weeks.
” Hola, mamá! ” he said when they finally hugged.
“I was 42 years old and I met him, hugged him and held him for the first time. It was so unnatural!” Thyden said.
“It made me realize the mistakes I had made. And then, to know her was to love her. She was a sweet, caring, loving woman, and knowing that someone would hurt her… who would hurt a little woman, sweet, and innocent.”
Thyden said that learning the truth was also painful because his adoptive parents were also lied to and became victims.
He said the adoptive parents first contacted an adoption agency in Virginia and specifically asked to adopt a child the right way.
“They never believed for a second that they were buying a child. They would never do that,” he said.
In the end, Thyden concluded that the silver lining to what happened to him came from his five-year-old daughter, who told him that if bad things hadn’t happened, he wouldn’t be here.
As well as his father. Thyden is lucky that he now has not just one, but two families who love him very much.
Source : CNN