PILAR ALCALDE, adopted at birth and one of Spain’s “stolen babies”, has been reunited with her biological mother.
Unlike many of those snatched from their mothers in a scandal spanning decades, 29-year-old Pilar was helped by her adoptive father, Alejandro Alcalde.
Pilar, who always knew she was adopted, began to wonder 10 years ago if she had been taken from her mother at birth, but Alejandro’s continued attempts to clarify the circumstances were fruitless.
He spent time and money trying to bring true his adored daughter’s wish of locating her biological mother but every lead came to nothing. Then around two months ago, Alejando contacted the Antena 3 programme El Diario, explaining that he believed his daughter was a “stolen baby.”
Incredibly, Antena 3’s Pilar Gomiz soon located Maria Luis Torres Romero whose DNA was a perfect match with Pilar’s. Twenty-nine years later, Maria Luisa, already mother of two-year-old Ines was able to explain that she had separated from her first husband and Pilar was another partner’s child.
She gave birth at the Santa Cristina maternity home in Madrid in 1982 and was told that her baby daughter had died at birth. Finally, the clinic’s social worker, Sister Maria Gomez Valbuena, admitted that she had been adopted. There nothing she could do to reclaim the baby as she had signed away her rights, the nun claimed, although Maria Luisa remembered signing only a document exempting her from paying the clinic.
Sister Maria also threatened to denounce Maria Luisa for adultery – still an offence at that time – which meant she could lose custody of Ines. “What could I do?” she asks, although she never gave up the search for her daughter.
Pilar’s adoption was legal as far as paperwork was concerned, and done through the AEPA adoption society, linked to Opus Dei. Pilar has now met her sisters Ines, now 32, and 24-year-old Marina. And at last Maria Luisa has given her middle daughter the dummy and sleeping suit she had prepared for her in March 1982.