A single gay man who always wanted to be a father has found the family of his dreams after adopting a baby girl who’d been left at the hospital.
Growing up in deeply conservative Argentina in the 1990s, Pablo Fracchia never thought fatherhood was an option for him.
As a teenager he thought there were only two ways his story could pan out: stay in the closet, or give up his dream of being a dad.
“I remember seeing the archbishop on the national public TV channel saying that every gay man should go and live on an island and stay away from good working people,” he told Bored Panda.
“And also the effects from the dictatorship (when it came to police raids on LGBT+ places) were a regular thing even after democracy was reestablished. So there is an absolute distance between my childhood and the current situation.”
But things changed: Pablo grew up to become an activist for the LGBTQ+ Federation of Argentina, and over time he gradually watched his country evolve around him.
When Argentina became one of the first Latin American countries to legalise same-sex marriage in 2010, he had a flash of hope – his dream of becoming a dad could actually come true.
Pablo signed up to adopt a child in 2017, and after two long years of waiting he got a phone call from a family judge.
That was the first time he heard about Mia, a little girl a year and ten months old, living in a hospital due to a severe gastrointestinal condition.
Mia needed serious medical attention and her biological family was unable to provide it, so she was sent to an institution for children with health issues.
Pablo immediately put himself forward. When the three other parents who were in the running to adopt Mia were ruled out, he got the all-important call – he was able to meet his daughter for the first time the next day.
They’ve now been together for over a year and Pablo dotes on his little daughter. “If I have to use two words to describe Mia, it would be ‘resilience’ and ‘power’,” he said.
“This girl survived in every single possible way as she had a rough start in her health, with a lot of challenges and she fought and faced them alone at only months of age. And now she is a 100 per cent healthy kid like everyone else.”
As an LGBT+ activist, Pablo recognises that he was only able to adopt as a single gay man due to collective campaigning powers. He now encourages other activists to follow in his footsteps and continue breaking down barriers.
“Meet others like you. Organise. Fight for your dream,” he said.
“The status quo can only be broken when we organise with people struggling with similar issues and start showing the injustices we live with, to the public eye. It’s still illegal to be gay in almost 70 countries. Some of them even include the death penalty. So hang in there and organise.”