Dramatic turnaround in an Argentine adoption case

Marcela and Felipe Noble Herrera arrive to submit DNA samples in compliance with a judicial order. After 10 years of delays and legal wrangling, there will finally be an answer to the question: Are they children of the disappeared?

The adoptive children of the owner of the Argentine daily newspaper, Clarín, presented themselves on Friday at a hospital to give DNA samples, in compliance with a judicial order, in the investigation into whether they are children of disappeared persons of the dictatorship (1976-83).

“After ten years of delays, today they’re complying with the law,” said Alan Iud, one of the attorneys representing the humannitarian group, Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, a plaintiff in the suit.

Marcela and Felipe Noble Herrera, who were adopted by Ernestina Herrera de Noble (86 years old) when they were infants, in May and July of 1976, respectively, came to the National Genetic Data Bank (BNDG) of Buenos Aires in a car with polarized-glass windows.

The two entered the Durand hospital, where the BNDG operates, surrounded by bodyguards and amid heavy security.

A week ago, the Noble-Herreras unexpectedly declared themselves willing to submit blood, saliva and other DNA samples.

The sudden decision comes after 10 years of legal wrangling, including the detention, in 2003, of their mother, who heads the largest media group in Argentina, for a few hours.

“We have to wait and see (how this develops) because of all the delays and the sudden turnaround,” said Iud.

The complete DNA analysis will take between two and three weeks, he explained.

The decision of the adopted children was announced shortly after the appellate court confirmed a resolution to force them to submit to a blood test, as authorized by law.

“What could happen? Whether they are or not, we never said they were, we said they could be (children of the disappeared) […] The truth will come out,” said Estela Carlotto, president of the Grandmothers, after appearing at the United Nations in Geneva to present the candidacy of the group for the Nobel Peace Prize of 2011.

The Grandmothers estimate that some 500 sons and daughters of the disappeared were stolen and given for illegal adoption during the dictatorship. Of these, 103 have recovered their true identities.

Some 30,000 persons disappeared during the dictatorship, according to human-rights organizations.

Translation mine.

The timing of these two adoptions could not be more suspicious, coming as they did within the first year of the Argentine junta’s dictatorship. Watch this space, everyone…in a couple of weeks, we’ll finally know for sure what the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo have long wondered or suspected. At the very least, it may finally become known just whose children these two young adults really are.

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