A California woman has been reunited with her son who she thought died at birth three decades ago.
Tina Bejarano, from the city of Los Banos, central California, gave birth when she was 17-years-old, she told Fox affiliate KMPH-TV. She was raised by an abusive mother, who told Bejarano she couldn't keep her baby.
"The next day, she comes back to tell me, 'The baby died 15 minutes after it was born. It never made it. It was sick," Bejarano recalled. A few months after Bejarano's loss, she married her husband Eric Gardere. The pair went on to have five children.
The baby wasn't Gardere's, but in the 29 years that have passed the couple have marked the baby's birth.
Bejarano said she would become depressed around the date. "I would cry all the time," she said.
But Bejarano's life changed last year when her daughter encouraged her to take a DNA test. Soon after, Bejarano received an email.
"I think we need to talk, it says we're related, and it says you're my mom," the message read, according to Bejarano.
She discovered her mother had lied about her baby dying, and her son had been adopted less than a week after he was born. The 29-year-old, named only Kristin by KMPH-TV, was raised in Las Vegas, and has a baby with his wife.
Bejarano said, "Looking at him just makes me want to cry."
Gardere said he sees Kristin as the same as his biological children. "We've been communicating with Kristin for a few months now. He calls me 'dad,' I call him 'son,' I text him every morning," said Gardere.
In November, Kristin and his family plan to meet his estranged parents in Los Banos for the first time.
This isn't the first time a DNA testing kit has pieced a family back together. Earlier this year, an Ohio woman was reunited with her mother after 52 years, ABC News reported.
Erin Chatterton's daughter and husband bought her an AncestryDNA kit in 2017. In the spring of 2018, Lisa Raessner in San Diego also took a test, which brought Chatterton up as a genetic match, either a first sibling or first cousin.
After some probing questions to family members, Raessner's step mother revealed she had had a baby with their father before they were married. Due to her conservative religious upbringing, she was kicked out of her home and gave up her baby.
Lori Webster, Lisa Webster's sister, told ABC News: "My stepmom had always wanted to meet her daughter, she just didn't think it was going to take 52 years."