In a heartwarming story, a little girl with HIV has officially been adopted by a gay couple after being rejected by ten different families.
Damian Pighin, 42, and Ariel Vijarra, 39, made history when they became the first same-sex couple to get legally married in the Argentinian province of Santa Fe, Daily Mail reports. In 2011, the husbands decided it was time to start a family, but it would be a years-long process before they finally had a child of their own.
The couple waited 3 years before they received a call about baby Olivia, a newborn that was having trouble being adopted because of her HIV-positive status. The infant had already been rejected by 10 other families that were looking to adopt. But Damien and Ariel didn’t let the little girl’s diagnosis stop her from becoming a part of their family.
Upon meeting the little girl, Ariel said they felt an “immediate connection” to her. “As soon as I saw her, I felt that she was part of my life,” he said at the time. “We held her in our arms, gave her the bottle and she looked at us with her eyes wide open without crying.”
Damien and Ariel became the first same-sex couple to adopt a child in their province of Santa Fe. Olivia is now 5-years old and is as healthy can be. Shortly after they adopted her, the fathers began her on HIV treatment, which they say she has responded well to. The dads say the child is showing no signs of the virus and she’s just a happy, normal child.
While there is currently no cure for HIV, treatments are available that can significantly reduce the amount of the virus. When successful, the virus can become undetectable in the body, which is where Olivia’s fathers say she’s at today.
What makes this story even more incredible is that Damien Ariel now help other people through the adoption process. The partners both work for Acunar Familias, a non-governmental organization that helps couple adopt orphaned children. Ariel and Damien also went on to adopt a second little girl, named Victoria, in 2015. Victoria will soon be celebrating her 5th birthday, just like her older sister.
All children deserve a loving home! Hopefully this story inspires other families to consider adopting a child, regardless of any conditions or disabilities they may have.