Human Interest Texas Firefighter Learns He Was Stolen at Birth and Reunites with Biological Mom, Who Had 'Grieved My Death' Tyler Graf found out last year that he was stolen as a baby and illegally given to a family By Jason Hahn Jason Hahn Jason Hahn is a former Human Interest and Sports Reporter for PEOPLE. He started at PEOPLE's Los Angeles Bureau as a writer and reporter in 2017 and interviewed the likes of Kobe Bryant, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Brady. He has a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University. He previously worked for Complex Magazine in New York City. People Editorial Guidelines Published on April 12, 2022 05:01 PM Share Tweet Pin Email A Texas firefighter said he has reunited with his biological mother after learning he was taken at birth and adopted by an unaware American family. Tyler Graf's incredible journey to the truth began with the birth of his first child, which inspired him to learn more about the biological family he never met, according to ABC station KTRK. "I was adopted by a very loving, caring family," Graf, 38, told the news station. "I think it was just knowing that my story did start before I was adopted." "So, it's kind of like missing the first five minutes of the movie," he explained. But during his quest, Graf found out something startling. As he describes in a GoFundMe campaign, Graf was contacted by Hijos y Madres del Silencio, a Chilean group that supports victims of illegal adoptions and child trafficking in the country. They told him he had been kidnapped at birth in Temuco, Chile, and "illegally handed to an American family without their knowledge of that," he wrote. Graf also said a DNA test proved he had relatives from Chile. Woman Searching for Birth Parents Discovers She Was Stolen as a Baby: 'My Parents Bought a Child' More than 30 years earlier, Graf's mother was told that her son, named Sergio, had died after she gave birth to him, NBC station KPRC reported. She was not allowed to see his body. "I can't imagine what my birth mother went through when she lost me and grieved my death," Graf told the news station. A 2019 BBC report detailed how investigators found thousands of children were stolen under the rule of Gen. Augusto Pinochet during the 1980s to be sent to developed nations for adoption. The government reportedly had one primary goal in the scheme: to eradicate extreme poverty by removing children of poor families from the country. Nuns, doctors, social workers, lawyers and international adoption agencies were among the parties involved, BBC reported. Woman Meets Biological Son She Never Knew Existed — All Thanks to DNA Test: 'Instant Love' After finding out his background, Graf reconnected with his biological mother and the three sisters he didn't know he had in Chile. "At the beginning, it was complicated," one of his sisters told KPRC. "Then it became enjoyment, I love his laughter and his smile." RELATED VIDEO: Man Officially Adopts his 18-Year-Old Stepson As for his biological mother's reaction? "I wanted to scream," Graf's birth mother, Hilda Quezada Godoy, told KTRK of learning her son was alive. "I questioned a lot of things," she said. "The thought of if he was loved, if he ate well, if he spent time cold." She finally got the chance to hold her son when a journalist arranged a reunion for the duo. "It was the closest hug," Graf told the New York Times in December. "They just left us alone in each other's arms and we hugged and she kissed me and we just stood there crying." And footage of Graf's recent trip to Chile to see Godoy and his siblings was included in KTRK's report, showing the family bonding together at last. "I do not want to hurt my adoptive parents' feelings or my birth mothers' feelings, so it is kind of a fine balance right now," he told KPRC. "I'm trying to figure where I fit in the middle of all this."