Saturday, April 05, 2008

Dirty War adoption couple jailed

BBC NEWS | Americas | Dirty War adoption couple jailed: "Maria Eugenia Sampallo"

Wow. A woman wants her parents sent to jail for 25 years.

Make that "parents", in quotes, since the legal reality is that, though this woman has known the jailed couple as her parents since infancy, her adoption was a fraud and her origins a tragedy.

I have always decoupled parenting and biology. Some biological fathers and mothers are parents, but genetic lineage is not a necessary component of parenthood. The status of "Parent" is established by love and affection, not by duty or genes.

So, as I read this piece, I had a strong feeling that this woman's upbringing must have been turbulent, stressful, chilly and distant. Otherwise, how could a person raised from infancy by surrogate "parents" wish them such punishment?

Sure enough, apparently.
As a child, María Eugenia Sampallo Barragán had a fiery relationship with her mother, who chose unusual ways of showing affection. Outbursts such as "If it wasn't for me you would have ended up in a ditch" and "Badly educated brat - only a child of a guerrilla could be so rebellious" were common, but would not be fully understood until years later.
She also told the court that, when she left home after finishing school, "I didn't take any photos of my past, with them, as it was something I preferred not to remember."
What a shame.
Not all of the children had such unhappy upbringings. Many were sent to good schools and were treated with love and affection. Some couples claim not to have known the true origins of the babies they raised, and many of the recovered grandchildren choose to believe that, remaining close to both their biological families and their adoptive parents.
It would probably be tough to deal with the knowledge that the people who raised you in a way that qualified them as real parents, and whom you unconditionally love as such, were guilty of kidnapping you as an infant. So maybe it's easier, emotionally, if you had to learn such a thing, to have had assholes for "parents".

Hmmm... Obviously, there's a whole lot more to this story, but this is about as far as I care to take it.

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