“My dream is to be a lawyer”: The moving letter that a 16-year-old boy wrote to a judge to ask for a family
Camilo is a 16-year-old adolescent who lives in a home in Resistencia, Chaco. She first entered an institution for girls and boys deprived of parental care when she was 12, and in February 2019 he was declared adoptable. Since then, he anxiously awaits to find a family where he can, in his words, “start over”. However, the years have passed and Camilo is still waiting.
In October of last year, informed him about the possibility of doing a public call with his case: that is, an open call to the entire community to find him a family.Any person or couple who considers that they can assume the enormous responsibility of sponsoring him, can apply to be evaluated. Camilo −his name was changed in this note to preserve his identity− was enthusiastic about this possibility and, with the accompaniment of Elena Velazco, the lawyer for children and adolescents who advises him, made a decision that surprised several people in the Judicial Power of Chaco: write a letter to the judge who handles your file. Says so:
“Given the possibility of resorting to a public call, I would like to describe my personality, tastes and preferences so that they can get to know me: I am 16 years old and I am in my third year of high school; I am very shy, but when I get comfortable I am very funny; I like to make jokes; I like listening to music and riding a bike; my dream is to be a lawyer; I am educated, responsible and collaborative with household chores; I like to cook and make delicious chipas; I have no problem being part of a large family with many siblings, I would just like to be part of one”.
Thus, in one go, Camilo described himself and summarized his expectations. Today she lives in a home for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18, but before that she was in another for younger children. Know what, As time passes, the chances of finding a family through adoption get smaller.
Velazco belongs to a team of lawyers specially trained to assist children and adolescents. They are appointed by lottery through a list provided by the Institute of Family Law of the Council of Lawyers of the First Circumscription of Chaco and they do their job to honor. “When I was appointed as Camilo’s lawyer and I interviewed him, I explained to him that the purpose of the hearing was for him to exercise his right to be heard, I told him about the possibility of a public summons and I asked him if he was interested in looking for a family. by that means”, says Velazco. That was in October of last year.
Camilo didn’t hesitate for a second. “He said he had no problem with being a mom and a dad, two dads, two moms, a single mom, or a big family with lots of siblings, for example. He just wants to be part of a family. In fact, when the judge asked him what kind of family he wanted, he replied: ‘I fit in.’ That’s why the idea for the letter came up: we went to my studio and wrote it up”, describes the lawyer.
Public announcements are the last tool available to the courts when in no registry of applicants for foster care in the country are there candidates to godfather girls and boys who are generally pre-adolescents or adolescents, are part of large groups of siblings or have any disability or health problem. Why is this happening? The numbers speak for themselves. According to data published this month by the National Directorate of the Single Registry of Applicants for Guardianship for Adoptive Purposes (Dnrua), of the 2,599 files of people and couples registered to adopt, 87% are willing to receive children up to three years old, while only 0.08%, to girls and boys over 15, like Camilo: that is, of the more than 2,000 applications, only two are open to that possibility.
Velazco describes Camilo as a teenager with a lot of potential. “He has a life ahead of him and states that his story is going to start again with a family. He thinks a lot about his future and has high hopes of being able to get ahead”, says the lawyer. He adds that those who assume the responsibility of sponsoring him must have a great commitment to accompany the adolescent (who passed the fourth year of high school) in his dreams, fears, expectations: “All the time, he says: ‘I’m looking for me family’. And it emphasizes the ‘my’. He assures that he will be able to overcome any barrier in that context, that he will be able to achieve everything he sets out to do with that support”.
Camilo is satisfied with his letter. Now, he anxiously awaits that, wherever he is, his writing reaches the family he longs for.