The Asociación Pro‐ Búsqueda de Niñas y Niños Desaparecidos (ProB) in El Salvador seeks to identify young adults who were abducted as children by the military or placed for adoption under duress during the armed conflict in El Salvador, 1980–1992. In many cases, the military handed the kidnapped children to military families, placed them in Salvadoran orphanages or arranged for their adoption. These children were adopted domestically and internationally in such countries as the United States, Italy, France and Spain, sometimes fraudulently portrayed as legal to the country of the adoptive family. Pro‐B provides investigation, legal, advocacy and psychological support in the process of reunifying these disappeared children with their biological families. Since 1996, a partnership with forensic scientists and a Salvadoran expert added DNA analysis to their investigative toolbox to match lost children to biological families. HRC has provided additional support following leads abducted children (now adults) in North America. This essay focuses on the families of abducted children – their grief, resilience, and hopes for finding their lost ones again.
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The Asociación Pro‐ Búsqueda de Niñas y Niños Desaparecidos
Human Rights Center (HRC) at University of California, Berkeley
Alliance of Forensic Scientists for Human Rights and Humanitarian Investigations