An adopted man cried in his biological mother’s arms as he was finally reunited with her for the first time after searching for almost 40 years. Tobayi Howton, from New York City, first began searching for his birth mom in 1982, having known that she had given him up for adoption as a newborn because she was not able to financially support him.

According to Tobayi, who is now in his 50s, he had been aware that he was adopted since he was old enough to comprehend, with his adoptive father always supporting his search for his biological mom, Thomasette Cox. In his 20s, Tobayi managed to track down his birth certificate, which gave him simply his mother’s last name. Then, in his 30s, the likes of a private investigator proved to be unsuccessful, as did websites like 23andMe and Ancestry.com a decade later.

But having had a membership with DNA sampling websites for roughly two years, one day, Tobayi received a match: a cousin named Alicia, who reached out to ask if Tobayi knew her birth parents. On September 4, 2021, Tobayi flew to his biological mom’s home in Southern California, where the pair shared a loving embrace.

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