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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Virginia man reunites with mom 42 years after he was stolen from Chile


It has been 42 years since María Angélica González saw her son.

He was a newborn. A nurse told González he needed to be put in an incubator because he was premature. Not long after, she returned with devastating news: The baby was dead.

For 42 years, that's what González believed. For 42 years, it has been a lie.

Gonzalez's son, Jimmy Lippert Thyden, was stolen from González, adopted out to unwitting parents in the United States and raised in Arlington, Virginia. For 42 years, Thyden believed he had no living relatives in Chile, where he was born.

Then one day in April, Thyden read a USA TODAY story about a California man who had learned he was stolen from his mother in Chile and illegally adopted out to an American couple. It got Thyden thinking: Could the same thing have happened to him?

Within weeks, Thyden learned the truth. And last week, González finally got to hug her son.

Jimmy Lippert Thyden's birth mother, María Angélica González, holds him tight on the day they were reunited in Valdivia, Chile on Aug. 17, 2023.
videos and photos at USA TODAY

Chile's stolen children

USA TODAY has been writing about Chile's stolen children since April.

From the 1960s to the 1990s, human rights groups believe that more than 20,000 babies were taken from mostly low-income mothers in Chile and adopted out to unsuspecting parents in foreign countries.

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