eurel     Données sociologiques et juridiques sur la religion en Europe et au-delà


  • January 2019 : Spain’s stolen babies

In June 2018, the first trial concerning the “stolen babies” case took place in Spain. The “stolen babies” is the name given to a set of crimes which occurred in Spain during the Franco regime (and which continued after the dictator died). Newborn babies of families who opposed the regime, or of single mothers, were removed from their parents after their birth in hospital, and given to Catholic families who supported the regime and could not have children. Among those suspect of steeling the babies were gynecologists, one of them found guilty but absolved because the status of limitation applied, and members of the clergy, in particular a Catholic nun, who died in 2013, four days after she was called to a hearing with a judge.

The first cases were brought to light in 2011 by Anadir, the National Association of Victims of Irregular Adoption. Since then, many persons have started procedures to find their biological parents, most of them unsuccessful. Estimations made by this association indicate that around 300000 babies were taken from their biological parents between 1940 and 1990.

The issue has caused much controversy since the first cases were made public. The fact that members of the clergy had been involved in the disappearance of babies, and that most of the crimes had expired at the time they reached the courts, generated an even greater discomfort.

D 21 janvier 2019    AJulia Martínez-Ariño

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