- The Washington Times - Monday, June 19, 2006

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Angela Fillingim grew up knowing she had been adopted as a baby during El Salvador’s bloody civil war. But it wasn’t until she took a high-school Spanish class that she really began wondering about her past.

Was she an orphan? Was there a family she had never met living far away?

The answers for Miss Fillingim and others searching for lost relatives may lie in a new DNA database created by the California Justice Department and the University of California at Berkeley’s Human Rights Center to reunite the shattered families of El Salvador.

“It’s just a new experience to think, ‘Well, OK, I have another family, I have another mother,’” Miss Fillingim said. “I need to meet them, not only for myself but also for them, and to embark on this other part of my life.”

Hundreds of children disappeared in El Salvador during the country’s 1980-92 civil war, some stolen, some voluntarily put up for adoption.

The DNA Reunification Project was started by Human Rights Center Director Eric Stover and the Rev. Jon Cortina, co-founder of the Salvadoran group that translates to the Association for the Search of Missing Children.

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