I started this project in mid-2017, moved by the situation of children with disabilities under the care of the State in Argentina. I believe that handicapped children do not conform to the ideal model of a “baby” and for that reason, many of them spend the rest of their lives institutionalized.
Mariana and Luján are legally married. They live in Santiago del Estero, Argentina. Located 1000 km away from the City of Buenos Aires.
When they met Lola, they immediately knew that she was going to be their daughter.
The encounter with the girl was not by chance. Mariana and Luján wanted to become mothers and they did it through legal adoption.
They had to face and overcome prejudices of both strangers and their own family environment and friendships when they made the decision to celebrate their marriage and after adopting a girl with disability.
“We lost friends that we considered our own family. They simply moved away like the water of a river and from one day to the next, they stopped talking to us” – say Mariana and Luján -.
“We never feel prey of the prejudices of having a different sexual orientation, but it is true that acceptance is difficult for society and especially places that are furthest from the cities.”
“We are two tireless fighters for our rights and the negative comments do not affect us, but with the arrival of Lola everything was changed. The fight for their rights seems to be never ending. There are laws that are not enforced even by the health insurance companies.”
“Adoption, oddly enough, was the easiest way we went through because unfortunately very few people adopt children who are not babies or are disabled.”
For Mariana and Luján, the condition of her daughter Lola does not define her identity: “Lola it is not defined as being disabled or adopted. We always say that Lola is a girl and she is our daughter.”
Unfortunately, they face many difficulties and prejudices due to the lack of health policies that comply with disability laws.
Therefore, they must face many expenses and treatment costs, without State support.
Lola has acute cerebral palsy due to lack of oxygen during her birth. She has reduced cognitive, motor, auditory and visual capacity.
Lola’s biological mother could not take care of her. And for that reason, the State placed her in a different Institution for the disabled both for adults and children.
Lola went through what is known as the process of “Institutionalization” without any kind of attachment or person of reference; she experienced many situations of helplessness, which caused a very serious emotional situation.
In addition, she suffered recurrent illnesses and infections due to the lack of specialized medical attention.
As a result, Lola has a compromised immune system and may suffer an immediate relapse.
Lola was in the Welfare System for adoption for five years, the first and only family that requested her for adoption, was the couple of Mariana and Luján.
Lola is an example of what happens with children with disabilities who are under the care of the State in Argentina.
Currently, Lola has a family that loves her. However Lola’s rights continue to be violated by the State that should guarantee comprehensive protection.