THE Spanish ‘lost babies’ scandal will not go away, especially now that an unnamed woman has been reunited with the daughter she was told had died. The woman, who prefers to remain anonymous, still has the baby’s death certificate but like so many other women in the same position, she never resigned herself to the loss.
Her intuition was correct as dates on paperwork show that her live daughter was adopted shortly after her supposed “death” 40 years ago in a Barcelona hospital.
This is one of hundreds of cases set out in documents handed over last month to the Fiscalia General (equivalent to the Attorney General) by Anadir (National Association of Victims of Irregular Adoptions).
The practice began when babies were snatched from political prisoners during the early days of the Franco regime but later targeted vulnerable and underprivileged women.
Recent publicity has prompted suspicious mothers and adoptees anxious to know more about their backgrounds to voice their doubts and take action.
The lost daughter, who always knew that she was adopted and wanted to discover her true biological roots, joined Anadir last year.
Several possibilities emerged after her details were cross-checked with the association’s data base but after sifting through each case, a likely match emerged with an older woman looking for her daughter.
The similarities between dates and both women’s stories were too close for mere coincidence and after DNA tests their genetic profiles were found to be identical: they were mother and daughter.
The minister of Justice, Francisco Caamaño has now pledged to provide DNA tests when backed by a court order and Anadir president Antonio Barroso hailed the Barcelona case – the association’s first success – as a breakthrough.
“But what adopted person can be sure now that they were not once stolen from their biological mother?” he asked.