About the Vigil The Vigil in the News
Concepcion's Personal History: Photos, Video and Audio of Concepcion
Abuses and Threats

Email Concepcion

Concepcion's Personal History:
Her Daughter Olga

Life in New York Seeking Help in Spain
Her Daughter Olga Coming to Washington
Trouble at Home Jimmy Carter

Click here to hear Concepcion's letter to Olga

I wanted to have a baby, but somehow I was not able to get pregnant. We went to see the best doctors, and they told me that there was nothing wrong with me, and that probably I had too much pressure at home and work. The best thing for ms to do would be to stay home and relax, which I refused to do. I liked work, and I had the feeling of independence, plus the extra money came in handy as we always needed things for the house.

I was having a hard time convincing my husband to adopt a child. We went to the Children's Aid Society on East 45th Street between Lexington and Third Avenue in New York City. After a long period of waiting, more than a year, we were told that there wasn't much hope for the only babies they had available at the time did not suit us, these babies had birth defects, etc. My husband spoke with his friends, and people at work, when one of his best friends told us that he would, get in touch with a family in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and that it would be easy to get what we wanted there.

On June 15, 1973, my husband called me at the office and said that his friend had a phone call from Argentina and that there was a baby girl waiting for us. In order to get her, we were told we had to go right away or we would lose the opportunity. We also were told to leave $600.00 for maternity expenses in the clinic. My husband picked me up at the office, went to the bank to withdraw the money, made air line reservations and the next day we flew to Buenos Aires.

His friend's family was waiting for us at the airport and drove us to their house where we talked and were told that we would see the baby the next day. I could hardly sleep that night waiting for something that I had been dreaming for a long time. Finally the morning came, and we were ready to see the child and take her home. The day came and went, and we did not have the baby. They told us that the father of the girl who had had the baby found out that she was in the clinic and went to see what happened. Although he had been told, there was the problem of a nervous breakdown since in Latin countries, it was very bad for a single girl to have a baby, and it gave her a bad reputation. After three or four days, they told us that Peron was arriving from Spain and the army had taken over the hospitals and clinics. We had to wait a few more days because of this. I started to become suspicious about the whole thing, but I had no choice and had to wait. Two weeks later they told us that the father of the girl had found out the truth about the baby and decided to keep it. I was upset about the whole situation, but I was down there and had no other alternative but to wait and see.

The next step was to look for another baby. They introduced us to a few doctors that they knew, and each one promised to find us a baby, since I wanted & baby girl, and there were only boys available. In the end, I was willing to take any baby as long as it was healthy. They started to bring us babies in a stationwagon as if they were sacks of potatoes. All of them were newborns, and we felt very sorry for the poor things, but there wasn't one that we had in mind. Finally a midwife came to see us with a two-hour old baby girl. We had decided not to look any more because we were Very disappointed with the whole situation. They convinced my husband to go outside to the car and take a look at the baby. He came back in the house and asked me to see the child. I refused in the beginning, but then I went, and we both decided to keep the baby. We made all the arrangements to meet their demands and settle the whole thing. They drove us to the Registration Office to register the baby as our own legitimate. (Olga's Birth Certificate) By this time, another doctor rushed in with the news that he had a baby for us. We thanked him, and told him we already had what we wanted. He was furious and started to demand the money he claimed he had to pay other people for their services. I refused and told him that we did not sign any contract and that we were looking around. Someone came along first and we had taken our baby. He took it very hard and became terribly upset. We agreed to go with him to see the other baby. he drove us to a very fancy clinic and once inside, a nurse brought the baby girl to us with the scissors still holding the cord. We liked her too, but my husband told them that we already had a baby and were settled on her. I felt sorry for that little one and begged my husband to take her, too. I told him I would take care of both of them as if they were twins. He left with the doctor warning us that we had to pay for this.

After two or three days, my husband went to the American Consulate to register the baby in order to come back home to the United States. He signed an affidavit and was told to bring me in to sign, too. A few days later we went back to talk to the Consul Deputy, Mr. Hichkok, who was very angry. He took us to his office and asked us many questions. I'd learned from him that someone sent an anonymous letter stating that the child was not legitimately ours. We denied the fact as I was afraid of losing the baby, with whom I was already in love. They gave me an appointment to visit a doctor at the British Hospital to verify the facts. Meanwhile, the people who gave us the baby were afraid and there was talk about getting rid of the baby by letting the cord bleed. I was so furious that I told them if anything should happen to that child, I would go to the authorities, television, newspapers, etc., I warned them against touching the baby. They tried to convince my husband to have me put under for a small operation to show I had had a baby. I refused the proposition. and told them that no one was going to touch me or the baby. They seemed very angry. My husband had to get back to work, and time was running out, for he had only four weeks vacation. He decided to let me stay there with these people, and he would go back to the States and see what he could do from New York. I begged him not to leave me alone with the baby among people that I already afraid of, but he left, leaving the baby and I in the middle of the danger.

The baby and I went to the British for the check-up and blood test, They took blood from the heel of the baby's foot, and examined me. After through examination of my body, they could not agree or deny the fact that I had given birth to a child. After a certain period of time, the birth canal in a woman's body closes back to its normal size. I had the appointment many days after the baby was born, so it was not a written law against nature. Nevertheless, the Consul would not issue the baby any papers. He simply refused to let the baby enter the U.S., even though he knew we were American citizens.

My husband was calling by phone practically every other day. I begged him to let the baby and I go to Spain with my family and wait there until he could do something about it. Every time I mentioned it to him he refused, but he would allow me to go to Milano, Italy to his brother's house. In fact, he had already spoken to his brother about it on the phone. I refused because I felt more comfortable going to Spain with my own people.

Meanwhile it was a nightmare for me in Buenos Aires, living with that family. I began to notice that every time the baby had her formula, she would get sick. This made me worry. I suspected something was wrong with the formula, so I got a new formula and locked it in my suitcase in my room, so I would be sure that no one could get it. When I gave her the new formula, she was fine and I began to have a suspicious feeling that someone was putting something in it. I always locked myself in the room and I was awake as much as I could, as I did not have any confidence in those people. One night, I heard voices, and people arguing. I peeked out the door and saw a man holding a gun, with his parents preventing him from entering the house. I really panicked, and when my husband called me on the phone and I explained the situation, he insisted I should be patient and wait. I asked him again to let me go to Spain, and once more he refused. After I had been there three months, my husband phoned me and instructed me to go to the Pan American Office and make a reservation for myself and the baby. The baby's ticket amounted to ten percent of the fare. He told me not to worry and that immigration in New York had made arrangements with Pan Am Airlines to let me get on the plane with the baby, who was holding an Argentinean passport. Naturally I was very happy to see that ny imprisonment in that house was coming to an end, (By the way, all of the time I was in Argentina, my husband was calling me practically every other day from the same house that the old woman lived in. She never came to the telephone to say hello, or give me advice, or even a good word... etc) I kept asking my husband why she wouldn't talk to me, and he always gave me an excuse, that she was busy, or she was planning a vacation trip to Italy.

After eleven hours on the plane, I finally arrived in New York with my precious cargo. The baby slept all the way, and no one on the plane could believe their eyes when they saw me disembark with her. They had no idea that there was a baby on board, that's how good she is. At the checkpoint, an Immigration officer called upon me, looked at both passports, and asked me if she was my baby. I told him she was, and he gave me the passports and told me to go ahead to collect my luggage at customs. I finally got out the door, where my husband and a few of his friends were waiting. I was very happy, and I thought everyone must be. After all the greetings we went home. On the way my husband told me that Aunt Tessi (that is how he called. the old woman) went to Italy on vacation. We started painting the whole apartment, and went shopping for the baby, etc. The house started to be filled with my husband's friends and neighbors that Came to see the baby, but I noticed that they were not as warm as they use to be with me.. I did not suspect anything as I did not have a guilty consciencious.

On the week following my arrival, my husband took the baby and I to a lawyer that he said some friends recommended. This lawyer was Mr. Ralph Lavine at 26 Court Street, Brooklyn, New York, who, after hearing the whole story, says his fee for arranging everything with Immigration concerning the baby's papers will be $5,000.00. We knew that $5,000.00 was a lot of money, but my husband said as long as we didn't have any problem with Immigration, we'd sacrifice and pay the money. Mr. Lavine took our passports, the baby's and her identity book, and kept them in the office for twenty months.

The next step was to go to the Immigration Office at 20 West Broadway in New York, to see Mr. Graco, a man that my husband said helped him with the case. He introduced the baby and I, and we thanked him. He also went to the Immigration Office in Brooklyn and presented all the baby's papers. Mr. Vaiggio was the person assigned to the baby's case. (I somehow found out that everyone was mad at me, but I was busy with the baby and didn't pay any attention.) Mr. Vaiggio said that we would hear from him, meanwhile) I was taking care of the baby and the house. Whenever we received any letters from Immigration, we simply gave them to Mr. Lavine and he postponed the case.

The baby was growing up very healthy and bright. From the very beginning, I began to talk to her in three languages, English, Spanish, and Italian. I also spoke a little French, and she was responding to all of them. At the same time I was teaching her letters and numbers, and when I asked which one it was, she pointed her little finger very accurately. She did the same thing with animals and objects, and I was very proud of her. I thought she was doing pretty good for a baby at her age.