Texas Firefighter Uncovers the Truth About His Illegal Adoption
As an adult, Tyler Graf learned that he was stolen at birth from his Chilean mother. This discovery led Graf to uncover his past.
Tyler Graf, a 37-year-old firefighter from Texas, was adopted as a young child. He grew up in a loving family but felt “the first five minutes of the movie” were missing from his life. A DNA test and some Internet research revealed something frightening; he was stolen from his birth mother in Chile. That discovery led him on a mission to uncover his past.
Graf found that he was one of the thousands of children taken from their Chilean birth families and adopted by unwitting parents in other countries. At the time, Chile was led by General Augusto Pinochet, who ruled as a dictator. Graf’s mother was told her son died at birth and that she couldn’t see the body. It was all part of a plan by Pinochet’s authoritarian government to “eliminate poverty” by taking the children of impoverished families.
Chile’s stolen children: ‘I was tricked into handing over my baby’ https://t.co/ziULRtIw5M
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 25, 2019
Graf has decided to use his story to raise awareness for the lost children of Chile. He created a non-profit designed to help children reconnect with their lost families.
After Tyler Graf learned he was stolen from his birth family and part of the rash of coercive adoptions during Pinochet’s brutal reign in Chile, he started Connecting Roots, to help others who were taken from their birth families. How he hopes DNA tests can give people answers. pic.twitter.com/qjbtrN1sFe
— Nightline (@Nightline) April 12, 2022
Other “Stolen At Birth” Stories
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One of the most infamous instances of children being stolen from their birth parents is the story of Edward Galland, David Kellman, and Robert Shafran. At birth, the triplets were separated as part of a mysterious “nature vs. nurture” study.
What would you do if you were 19 and found out you’re an identical triplet? Watch the true story of Robert, Edward, and David in Three Identical Strangers: https://t.co/gT3g3aW5gX pic.twitter.com/tNhKwD0lrH
— Prime Video (@PrimeVideo) October 4, 2018
My goodness you have to watch the documentary:
Three Identical Strangers.
Triplets separated at birth and found each other at age 19.
Extraordinary on so many levels.
Interested in child development, justice, morality, nature/nurture?
You have to watch this film. 😱😲 pic.twitter.com/6TkvSNecds
— Katharine Birbalsingh (@Miss_Snuffy) October 18, 2020
Unfortunately, twin separation is not uncommon. Adoption agencies say that it is sometimes hard to home twins together.
Sunday night is the TV premiere of the CNN Film “Three Identical Strangers” about triplets who were separated at birth and then found each other by chance. Since that film was made, more multiples have reuinted. @DrSanjayGupta has one of those stories. https://t.co/HzvWKd9Shw pic.twitter.com/l8jPRMoLva
— Morning Express with Robin Meade (@MorningExp) January 24, 2019
All children tend to see improved outcomes when they can maintain a connection. When they aren’t placed together, child welfare professionals do their best to help them maintain those family bonds. Unfortunately, Pinochet wasn’t worried about the welfare of the children he stole through illegal adoptions.
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