[UPDATE - BBC link added] 300,000 babies stolen from their parents - and sold for adoption: Haunting BBC documentary exposes 50-year scandal of baby trafficking by the Catholic church in Spain
By POLLY DUNBAR - MAILONLINE
Updated: Wed, 19 Oct 2011 01:14:55 UTC
[UPDATE - BBC link added]
Thanks to Ivan the Not So Terrible for the link
From the BBC website, with video clips from the documentary:
300,000 babies stolen from their parents - and sold for adoption: Haunting BBC documentary exposes 50-year scandal of baby trafficking by the Catholic church in Spain
Up to 300,000 Spanish babies were stolen from their parents and sold for adoption over a period of five decades, a new investigation reveals. The children were trafficked by a secret network of doctors, nurses, priests and nuns in a widespread practice that began during General Franco’s dictatorship and continued until the early Nineties. Hundreds of families who had babies taken from Spanish hospitals are now battling for an official government investigation into the scandal. Several mothers say they were told their first-born children had died during or soon after they gave birth.
Identity crisis: Randy Ryder as a baby being cradled in a Malaga hospital in 1971 by the woman who bought him
But the women, often young and unmarried, were told they could not see the body of the infant or attend their burial. In reality, the babies were sold to childless couples whose devout beliefs and financial security meant that they were seen as more appropriate parents.
Official documents were forged so the adoptive parents’ names were on the infants’ birth certificates. In many cases it is believed they were unaware that the child they received had been stolen, as they were usually told the birth mother had given them up. Journalist Katya Adler, who has investigated the scandal, says: ‘The situation is incredibly sad for thousands of people.
‘There are men and women across Spain whose lives have been turned upside-down by discovering the people they thought were their parents actually bought them for cash. There are also many mothers who have maintained for years that their babies did not die – and were labelled “hysterical” – but are now discovering that their child has probably been alive and brought up by somebody else all this time.’