Sunday, 25 September 2011

Argentina: Disappeared child fights to keep name

This amazing story is a real insight into the complexities of the "found" children and a different perspective on the struggle of Marcela and Felipe Noble to avoid finding out about their past.

The Guardian picks up on the case of Hilario Bacca, who was born to a detainee in the ESMA and illegally adopted. He was another instance of the law which allows compulsory DNA testing of suspected "disappeared children".
"I was born in a death camp, then the dictators killed my parents, then during a democracy they entered my home at gunpoint and took a DNA sample without my consent and opened a court against my adoptive parents," Bacca said. "And now they want to change my name."
Yes, you can see his point.
For Bacca, the knock on the door at his Buenos Aires apartment three years ago was a traumatising experience. "I didn't want to deal with the story of torture and murder I suspected lay in my past," he said. The sample showed conclusively what the Grandmothers had long suspected, that Hilario Bacca, as he was named on his falsified birth certificate, was actually Federico Cagnola Pereyra.
Bacca has appealed against the changing of his name. I was actually unaware that there was even a legal provision for forcing a person to change their name; I knew that the found grandchildren generally do change their names, but I had no idea this was compulsory. The response of the Grandmothers;
"This had never happened to us before in the about dozen cases of compulsory DNA testing we've pursued," said Alan Iud, a lead lawyer for the Grandmothers. "But there is no way we can allow the courts to validate a false surname that is the result of an aberrant crime against human rights."
But is Bacca opposed to the Grandmothers' work? Well, no:
Despite the legal battle, Bacca has joined the Grandmothers organisation, moving to work at its office in the resort of Mar del Plata south of Buenos Aires and establishing a solid bond with his birth grandmothers.
"The relationship gets a little complicated sometimes," Bacca said. "I'm the black sheep among the recovered grandchildren."
Yes, "a little complicated" is one way of putting it. I actually disagree with the Grandmothers on this one, even though I'm generally sympathetic to the idea of the DNA testing. The man is an adult, he's had this name for over 30 years, he does know where he comes from and who his parents were, but why should be forced to change his name as well?

Child of Argentina's 'disappeared' fights for right to keep adoptive name (Guardian)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, a complication I never knew existed. Thank you for your post.