Grandmothers demand answers after Haydée Padilla makes revelation on the airFriday, March 21, 2014
Actress confesses to illegal adoption
After the surprise admission on national television Tuesday night by actress Haydée Padilla, who revealed that in 1975 she had adopted a baby illegally, questions were immediately raised yesterday as to whether her daughter was one of the missing children kidnapped during the last military dictatorship.
“This is a crime against humanity. This woman needs to be summoned as do the people she named,” Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo President Estella Barnes de Carlotto said yesterday.
On Tuesday, Padilla revealed on cable news channel C5N that 38 years ago she had adopted a child whose origin was unknown to her, and that she subsequently raised the girl with her partner, the late playwright Sergio De Cecco.
“I have an adopted child, who lives in Mar del Plata with her two children and her name is María Laura De Cecco. She is the heiress of De Cecco,” the actress said during the late-night show El Ángel de la Medianoche, adding: “I adopted her when she was eight-months-old ... (her daughter) has never wanted to know if she was the child of disappeared parents. I put her in my ID booklet, which was illegal.”
Barnes de Carlotto, who was in Paris when the news broke, described Padilla’s announcement as “very serious,” and that it represented a new line of investigation into crimes against humanity.
In an interview given to Radio del Plata, the President of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo said that “evern if she doesn’t want to, the girl needs to know the truth.”
Several of the country’s adopted children who were born in the 70s have evaded or been unwilling to undergo DNA testing unless they were forced to by court order. One of the most high-profile cases was when the children of Ernestina Herrera de Noble, the biggest shareholder in the Clarín media clongomerate, were ordered to undergo DNA testing in 2012. Their DNA did not match any samples in the National Genetic Database (BNDG).
Change of heart
Padilla yesterday denied after the TV interview with Baby Etchecopar that her daughter was a child of people disappeared during the last military dictatorship.
However, after speaking with Laura, Padilla claimed that her daughter was now willing to undergo a DNA test.
“She is not a child of the disappeared,” the actress stressed, saying she had no doubt as to the origins of her daughter.
Padilla explained, furthermore, how she had found a baby to adopt after having told several hospitals to contact her if they knew of one. “So, they called from a hospital in Buenos Aires City, I forget which one, and my husband did everything.” Padilla claimed that it was the baby of a 16-year-old domestic worker who her husband had met, before later bringing the baby girl home.