Spanish mother reunited
with daughter she was told had died at birth
is latest in growing scandal over babies allegedly stolen by doctors and
sold for adoption over several decades
Tremlett, The Guardian, 20th February 2011
A Spanish mother has
been reunited with her daughter four decades after being told the child
had died at birth.
It is the first proven
case in a growing scandal over babies stolen by Spanish hospital doctors
and sold for adoption.
A DNA test proved the
blood tie between the two women after the daughter hired private
detectives to trace her biological mother.
"The adoption was
legal, with her birth certificate saying she was 'adopted from an
unknown mother'," Antonio Barroso, the head of an organisation
investigating cases of missing babies, said.
The mother was left to
mourn her baby after being told she had died at birth in a Barcelona
clinic. "The doctors told her that her daughter had died. She even
has the death certificate," Barroso said. "We went to a
laboratory and the result left no doubt. It is only now that the girl
has seen her own death certificate."
Barroso said mother and
daughter – who have asked not to be named – were reunited in
December and the case had since been passed on to the attorney general's
Another spokesman for
the group, Juan Luis Moreno, told El Pais newspaper that the mother had
always suspected her child had not really died, but hospital authorities
in Barcelona had told her they would take charge of burying the baby.
Many of those now
seeking lost babies are women who never saw their baby's corpse because
hospitals said they would take charge of burial.
has asked the attorney general to investigate several hundred cases of
The attorney general
agreed to co-ordinate the different investigations that will be carried
out by prosecutors at a provincial level.
Barroso said the case
opened up the possibility that many children who were adopted in
circumstances that may have seemed legal at the time were actually
These would be added to
existing cases where adopted children were apparently registered as the
biological children of their adoptive parents.
Barroso helped found
the group after discovering that his own parents had paid an
intermediary who produced children for adoption from a hospital in
The cases go back many
decades. Although they began during the dictatorship of General Franciso
Franco,, they seem to have carried on after his death in 1975. On
Tuesday, the Catalan Republican Left party will ask Spain's parliament
to aid those seeking lost children, with the creation of a DNA bank to
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