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WASHINGTON – After learning about other Chilean-born adoptees reuniting with their birth parents, a man sought out information about his own adoption 42 years ago. He came to learn that his birth mother was alive and living in Chile.

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María Angélica González gave birth to a baby boy 42 years ago. Hospital workers took the baby right after he was born and later told González he had died, according to The Associated Press. Scroll forward more than four decades, and she met him in person for the first time at her house in Valdivia, Chile.

González believed for all those years that her son was dead but eventually learned that was a lie, USA Today reported.

Jimmy Lippert Thyden was adopted by parents in the United States and was raised in Arlington, Virginia. According to USA Today, Thyden believed that he had no relatives who were alive in Chile but knew that was where he was born.

In an emotional video reunion, Thyden walked up to González, according to USA Today.

“Hola, Mamá,” he said. The two hugged and cried.

“It knocked the wind out of me. … I was suffocated by the gravity of this moment,” Thyden told the AP.

Last April, Thyden read news stories about Chilean-born adoptees who have been reunited with their birth relatives through a nonprofit organization called Nos Buscamos, according to the AP.

Thyden summarized the case file with the AP saying that the Nos Buscamos learned that Thyden was born at a hospital in Santiago prematurely. He was placed in an incubator was his mother was told to leave the hospital. When she went back to get him, hospital workers told her he was dead and they disposed of his body.

“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,” Thyden said in an interview with the AP. Thyden believes his case is called “counterfeit adoption.”

Nos Buscamos believes that thousands of babies were taken from their families in Chile between the 1970s and 1980s after the Investigations Police of Chile released a report that went over paper passports of children who left the country but never returned, the AP reported.

“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,” said Founder and Director and Nos Buscamos Constanza del Río, according to the AP.

Chile Stolen At Birth

In this image provided by Constanza Del Rio/Nos Buscamos, Jimmy Thyden, right, hugs Maria Angelica Gonzalez, his Chilean birth mother, as they meet for the first time in Valdivia, Chile on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023. For months Thyden has been on a journey to uncover the mysteries of his counterfeit adoption, and to reconnect with his biological mother, brothers and sister. (Constanza Del Rio/Nos Buscamos via AP)