“We have broken down many barriers”

Helena Cortés




When Tomás was diagnosed with his disability, he had been unemployed for a while and went into a spiral of alcoholism. She began to be treated at an addiction care center in the Community of Madrid, but her life changed when she met the A LA PAR Foundation and entered their employment program. And not only because he got a job, but also because there he met Magdalena, his partner for two decades. She has worked at the center since 1998, now handling collector’s stamps. “And until today, as soon as I saw her, I stayed by her side,” he proudly tells ABC.

«It was to see him and feel a crush, it was very nice. At first I was scared, because of my experiences for other boys, but we started talking and I told him my things », Magdalena remembers. “I was looking forward to the breaks to chat with her,” adds Tomás. Their love story, they admit, “has broken down many barriers.” They are the best example that people with disabilities can also find a stable partner, become emancipated and start a family. «I lost my father, I lived with my mother and he was afraid that I was leaving home. I was talking to my mother-in-law and they said they didn’t know how we were going to end up, because we both have a lot of genius, ”she recalls.

Like many couples, they rent and run their home “without help.” At first, Tomás’s mother sent them tuppers. Now, Magdalena shows off her stews. «Many believe that because they have a disability we cannot fall in love or emancipate ourselves. Even today it is a taboo subject, and in the century we are in, I would like people to think differently. We are very proud to live independently without help, “he adds.

About five years ago they took another step in their relationship and also became domestic partner. “We wanted to get married in church, but we didn’t have that much money, so we organized a family dinner. Now I have two godparents, the one for the baptism and the one for the common-law couple ”, admits Magdalena.

Increase the family

At Fundación A LA PAR they believe that «all people, with the right tools, they can become emancipated, fall in love and, if necessary, start a family. To have a full life, in short. This is also stated in the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which calls for “ending discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters related to marriage, family, parenthood and personal relationships, and achieving that people with disabilities are on an equal footing with others ”.

Following the commitments set out in this agreement, Congress is currently working on a bill that will reform civil and procedural legislation to replace the current model of incapacitation, “which is still a kind of civil death that denies the will of a person “, explains Agustín Matía, head of Down Spain,” for a support system that does not allow the person to participate in legal issues, always understanding their difficulties. “

Tomás and Magdalena decided long ago to be a family of two. «Having children often scares us. There is still that prejudice of not having children in case they are going to turn out like you, “says Tomás. «I thought about it, but I don’t want to, because it scares me. My parents have suffered a lot with me, although now they are very proud, “laments his wife. «We lack education, because our landlords also have disabilities and they have a child without her, beautiful”.

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