(CNN) – A woman born in Chile but raised in the U.S. has been reunited with her birth parents.
She knew she was adopted but she did not know that her family said she was stolen.
They weren’t the only victims.
There were no words, only tears of joy. It is the hug that Celia Rojas Cordoba wishes she could have given her daughter 36 years ago.
Alisa Clare Cohen grew up in the United States with her adoptive parents. Cohen says they were always forthcoming about her adoption and the country she came from.
“The story I was told was that my family had essentially never meant to keep me,” Cohen said.
But she says she always wondered if she had truly been abandoned, as her adoption documents state. She contacted Chilean authorities in February to ask for help in finding her biological parents.
She got the answer she was hoping for, her biological parents were still alive and very eager to meet her. Her biological mother says she never intended to give her up for adoption.
Cordoba says she had a very difficult labor and nearly died.
With the politics at the time and adoption not being regulated until years after I was adopted — and looking at the social worker who processed my adoption, there are a lot of things — elements of it that were just incomplete and inconsistent with what I was told,” Cohen explained.
Chilean government officials today say there were so many questionable adoptions back then that authorities now have a name for babies like Alisa.
They are called “children of silence.” They’re babies who were taken away from their biological parents in the ’70s and ’80s, in many cases without their consent or knowledge, and given to adoptive parents.
Those children now in their 30s and 40s and are asking questions about their origins and about a secret that was kept from them for four decades.
Watch the video above to learn more.