A gay couple from Sante Fe, Argentina opened their hearts to a baby girl who had been rejected by ten other families because of her HIV positive status—and adopted her.
According to UNILAD, Damian Pighin and Ariel Vijarra—who were reportedly the first gay couple to be married in Sante Fe—knew they wanted to adopt back in 2011. In 2014, they received a call to say a newborn baby was available and ready to join their family.
“The connection was immediate. We held her in our arms, gave her the bottle and she looked at us with her eyes wide open without crying,” Ariel said.
The baby girl had been rejected by ten other families before Damian and Ariel brought her into their family at 28 days old. Named Olivia, she is now thriving, and her HIV levels are undetectable. A year later, a woman who had heard the story about Olivia approached Damian and Ariel and wanted them to adopt her daughter. They agreed and welcomed Victoria to their family.
Ariel and Damien both work for Acunar Familias, which is an organization that helps couples adopt unwanted children.
Although there is still no cure for HIV, medication is available that can reduce the amount of the virus in the body, sometimes to the point of undetectability. When a person has an undetectable viral load, that means they are no longer infectious and the virus is unable to damage the immune system.
Children with HIV can have a normal life and do all kinds of kid stuff—and that’s just what Olivia is doing.