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Fraudulent Fertilisation

Episode 63

Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli
Smaller text sizeDefault text sizeBigger text size Add to my bookshelf epub mobi Permalink Ebook MapMar del Plata, Bosque Peralta Ramos

“Is there money involved?” asked the lawyer.

“I don’t know yet,” answered Burán, “I’ll inform you personally, but I can tell you in advance if necessary, there will be! I have no moral prejudice in this matter.”

“In this very special case, I agree. What we want is to prove the truth. I suppose you won’t ask her to tell lies...”

“Absolutely not, but I will ask her to make a statement of everything she knows. When you come to Mar del Plata, perhaps we’ll already know something about this woman. I hope so. She could tell us interesting things and strengthen our strategy. What should we do in the meantime?”

“Roberto, I’ve been thinking it over carefully with dad. It won’t be at all simple, but we feel it would be best to maintain ourselves in an undefined position. We’ve got fifteen working days from tomorrow, to answer the summons. In that time, it’s of primary importance to accumulate precedents and proof. In the hearing we’ll have to adopt a prudent attitude, not show too many of our cards. If the opposition knows our whole game, they’ll be at an advantage. To begin with, we have to show that we suppose the child is yours, that Juana was artificially inseminated with your sperm. To dissipate our understandable doubts, we’ll undergo the biological tests in advance.”

“I don’t understand that,” said Burán, “in advance? Why?”

“It’s in our interest; we’ll go to the hearing to request the carrying out of the tests ourselves. Your priority is to know whether you’re the father or not. What if it’s trickery on the part of Juana? Just in case, you’ve got to undergo all the necessary tests to make sure. When I say we’ll jump ahead by requesting the investigation, I’m thinking of presenting an expert witness of our own, someone totally trustworthy, to offer an agreement to the opposing party.”

“What? An agreement? Now that I don’t understand...”

“Relax, Roberto, don’t get excited, I don’t mean a settlement. I’m just referring to the alternative of requesting that the opposing party allow us to carry out a prior test with a top ranking professional, chosen by us. We already have him, it’s Doctor Saúl Zimbrein, an eminent man. He’s already agreed: he’ll do the analysis at a reasonable cost.”

“Do you think Doctor Allegri will accept?”

“I think so,” she said, “what harm will it do him? Just think, if he refuses the obligation to prove your paternity will fall on Juana Artigas. In that case a test will have to be carried out in the Carlos S. Durand Hospital in the Federal Capital. In this institution, by law, a bank of genetic data has been created. There are doctors there who are specialised in this kind of research. If he accepts the participation of Zimbrein and the result is positive, they’ll already have proof that the child is yours. They’ll save a lot of time and work, they’ll practically have the trial in the bag. Now, let’s say that in the worst case, if the result was negative, that it established that the child is not yours. Juana Artigas wouldn’t lose any rights. We would acknowledge that she is not tied to the result of Zimbrein’s analysis. It will always be within her reach to carry out a judicial test in the Durand Hospital, do you see?”

“Yes, Rocío, but I don’t quite see what good this attitude of ours will do. What are you after with this policy?”

“Firstly, to know the truth without any doubt; once we’re convinced the kid is yours, our actions will be firmer. You told us you wanted to know the child if it’s really yours, do you still feel the same way?”

“Yes, I haven’t changed my mind, on the contrary, I’m more and more convinced I’m doing the right thing. I hope I don’t regret it.”

“I don’t think so,” she said, “experience shows that it’s always better to defend the truth in court. Not just for ethical reasons, but because, in the long run, it suits. It’s true that lies are stunted; sooner or later the truth emerges from the most unexpected source.”

“What other reason do you have for working like this?”

“Don’t get uptight, Roberto; you’re on edge and your voice is trembling, let me explain... Secondly, we’ll show the judge our approach is serious. In accordance with what we agreed in Buenos Aires, you wouldn’t reject your fatherly responsibilities, if the biological test confirms that you are the father. By not denying the report, by accepting to maintain the kid if it really is yours, you’ll be credited with praiseworthy good faith. This must please Doctor Bisson and the Incapacity Adviser. It will be fundamental for the future, whatever the outcome of the trial, even if you lose.”

“I don’t quite understand,” said Roberto, “What do you mean?”

“Of course, to be honest, you’re sure to lose the filiation lawsuit, as long as the medical report determines that you’re the father. Unless we can prove Juana Artigas’s fraud, that she used your seed in bad faith, we’ll be up the creek. You won’t be able to get possession, much less deprive her of custody; at most you’ll be able to claim your rights as a father. You’ll be able to visit your son, make sure the mother takes good care of him, that she doesn’t waste the money you give her. In short, it’s the worst alternative for us, but I don’t want to pour scorn on it. That’s why it’s important to convince the judge and the ministry of minors. We must make sure they know that the most important thing for you is the child. This is fundamental, and what’s more, it’s true. If we convince the court, we’ll get them to acknowledge your right to have an influence on him, to participate in his education in a decisive way. Artigas will be indirectly limited, she’ll be obliged to adapt herself constantly. In addition, that way you’ll avoid this woman’s influence causing irreparable harm to the child. Do you understand our idea?”

“Yes, but I assure you I won’t resign myself to playing such a modest role. I tremble to think that I could spend the rest of my life maintaining my son, visiting him, without being able to prevent him being brought up by a criminal like Juanita.”

“I don’t want to get your hopes up, Roberto, I told you the situation is very difficult for us. With the plan I’m proposing, we’ll gain time, we’ll get through the hearing. We’ll make it clear that we’re prepared to undertake our responsibilities, although you didn’t really go to bed with Juana Artigas. My father advises not to talk too much about details in the hearing. Simply say that there was a misappropriation of your sperm. Don’t explain how it happened, just say you’ll do so when you face the lawsuit. That way we’ll have approximately ten working days to investigate. With a bit of luck we can gain some information that changes our expectations. We can’t think of any other way to act, what do you think?”

“It’s all right,” said Burán, “it’s coherent... If I assume paternity, I can’t say anything else, it’s logical enough.”

Translation: Peter Miller (© 2002)
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Copyright ©Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli, 1990
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Date of publicationSeptember 2002
Collection RSSGlobal Fiction
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