Argentina has made great strides toward marriage equality and abortion, among other things, which paved way for Fracchia's adoption of Mia.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on March 31, 2021. It has since been updated.
Having grown up in conservative Argentina, Pablo Fracchia's desire to become a dad was always a distant dream. He was single and gay, a demographic that a conservative population constantly attacks and ostracizes. Argentina has changed for the better since Fracchia's adolescent days and now, thanks to years of activism, his dream is a reality. Mia found the perfect dad in Fracchia. Mia, who suffered from a severe gastrointestinal condition, was living at the hospital because her biological parents struggled to provide her with the care required. That's when Fracchia, an avid LGBTQ+ activist, adopted her.
Fracchia, a former Red Cross volunteer, didn't think the day he would be allowed to start his own family would ever come. As much as he wanted to be a dad, fatherhood was never really an option, and he was reminded of it constantly. “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. “So there is an absolute distance between my childhood and the current situation.”
The LGBTQ+ movement would change the discourse in the country which eventually led to legalizing same-sex marriage in 2010. Argentina was also one of the first Latin American countries to do so. Argentina has made great strides when it comes to LGBTQ+ and women’s rights over the past 10 years, passing laws to enforce marriage equality, gender identity, abortion and trans people’s protection laws.
At the time of legalizing same-sex marriage, Senator Daniel Filmus said it was a sign of progress in the country. "Argentina is providing a demonstration of its maturity. Society has grown up. We aren't the same as we were before," said Filmus, reported NPR. Another senator, Norma Morandini, said the discrimination faced by gays was reminiscent of the repressive measures imposed by Argentina's dictators decades ago. "What defines us is our humanity, and what runs against humanity is intolerance," said Filmus.
He was informed about Mia, a girl who at almost 2 years old was living in a hospital due to a severe gastrointestinal condition and was up for adoption. She also needed serious medical attention. Apart from Fracchia, four other families were shortlisted by the family judge to adopt Mia. Fracchia was chosen and he got to meet his daughter for the first time the very next day. The father-daughter duo is now inseparable.
The progressive movement offered Fracchia a glimpse of hope of realizing his dream of becoming a father. He signed up for adoption in 2017 and it took two years before he got a call from a family judge. “If I have to use two words to describe Mia, it would be ‘resilience’ and ‘power’,” said Fracchia. “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 percent healthy kid like everyone else.”
Fracchia is aware that it was the activism of the LGBTQ+ community that enabled him to become a father. Fracchia is urging others to continue fighting to make Argentina and the world a more equitable society. “Meet others like you. Organize. Fight for your dream,” said Fracchia. “The status quo can only be broken when we organize 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 organize.”