Raleigh woman stolen at birth traveling to Chile to reunite with biological mother

Steve Daniels Image
Friday, February 16, 2024
Raleigh woman stolen at birth set to reunite with birthmother in Chile
Emily Reid, who was stolen from her birthmother in Chile, embarks on the journey of a lifetime to reunite with the mom she never knew.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Emily Reid embarks on the journey of a lifetime to South America on Saturday to discover her roots.

Reid was a victim of human trafficking as a baby and one of thousands of newborns stolen from their mothers and adopted by American families.

At the age of 39, the Raleigh woman is traveling to Chile to reunite with her birth mother.

"I am excited, nervous, anxious, scared, all sorts of emotions", Reid told ABC11.

Looking at a picture of her birth mother, Reid sees a strong resemblance.

"I see me as I'm older," Reid explained. "I've stared at that picture every day and I love it."

Reid was taken at birth during the regime of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Her adoption documents stated that her birthmother lived in poverty and could not afford to raise her.

"We know now that it is all a lie," Reid said. "We were not actually adopted legally, she was forced to give us up, and she thought that we were stillborn."

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"It was like my country was in a war," a Garner woman with roots in Chile said.

Reid is making the trip with her older brother, Sean Ours, who has the same birthmother and was adopted by the same family in Virginia.

It is a trip made possible by the non-profit organization Connecting Roots.

Tyler Graf, a Houston firefighter, stolen at birth in Chile started the organization after reuniting with his birthmother.

"When you find something out like this, you have every emotion. You're happy, you're sad and you're angry," Graf said.

Connecting Roots has helped facilitate 40 similar reunions over the past three years between people adopted into American homes and their Chilean biological mothers.

"The government was trying to eliminate the poor population, and they were taking babies from poor mothers and indigenous mothers or single mothers," Graf explained.

Reid shared her story on GoFundMe and raised nearly $7,000 to pay for her trip to Chile.

"I just can't believe Connecting Roots was able to piece it all together and make it work," said Reid. "The amount of generosity behind this has been remarkable. It has been astonishing that people would donate to help us reunite with our birthmother."