DNA test leads woman to reunite with child she thought died 30 years ago

The number of newborns taken into care dropped dramatically as birth alerts ended across Canada, but child welfare experts warn ceasing the practice cannot be the only step governments take to keep families together. Boonchai Wedmakawand/Getty Images

A California woman has been reunited with her son, who she thought had died nearly 30 years ago, after taking a DNA test.

Tina Bejarano gave birth when she was 17 but was told by her mother that the infant died shortly after.

According to Fox affiliate KMPH, Bejarano said her mother told her the baby had died 15 minutes after birth, but she had actually put the baby up for adoption in secret.

“The next day, [my mother] comes back to tell me: ‘The baby died 15 minutes after it was born,'” Bejarano told the broadcast station. “‘It never made it. It was sick.'”
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Even though she believed her child was dead, Bejarano and husband Eric Gardere celebrated the baby’s birthday every year.

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“It was a hard time every year,” she said. “I would get depressed. I would cry all the time.”

Click to play video: 'Family reunited through DNA testing'
Family reunited through DNA testing

“She would go into major depression,” said Gardere, who shares five children with Bejarano.

In 2017, one of Bejarano’s daughters encouraged her to purchase a DNA test. After getting the results processed, she received an email from a man in New Jersey.

According to KMPH, the email read: “I think we need to talk, it says we’re related, and it says you’re my mom.”

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Bejarano’s son, Kristin, talked about being raised in Las Vegas, Nev. He is now married with one child.

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“Looking at him just makes me want to cry,” Bejarano told the station.

Though Gardere is not his biological father, he says it feels like he is.

“We’ve been communicating with Kristin for a few months now,” he said. “He calls me dad, I call him son. I text him every morning.”

Kristin’s family of three is set to visit Bejarano and Gardere on Nov. 24 for the ultimate family reunion.

Global News has reached out to Bejarano for further comment.


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