Alleged ‘stolen baby’ lodges appeal against €40,000 slander damages

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STOLEN: Many adults still looking for birth mothers

ASCENSION LOPEZ, continues to insist that she is the victim of an irregular adoption.

She is now appealing against an Almeria high court verdict ordering her to pay a €3,000 fine as well as €40,000 damages to Sor Dolores Baena, her adoptive father’s sister.

Lopez is president of the Almeria branch of ‘SOS Bebes robados,’ a support group for adults who believe that they or a parent were taken at birth and given up for adoption without their mothers’ knowledge for large sums of money.  She learnt that she was adopted when she was eight, Lopez said, and has claimed in television interviews and in print her father told her he “bought” her for 250,000 pesetas (€1502.53).    

Dolores Baena was the go-between in the arrangement, Lopez maintained,  but has produced neither documents nor witnesses to back her suspicions. Her aunt countered by taking her to court, arguing that the accusations were damaging her reputation, that of the Sisters of Charity and Nuevo Rumbo, the rehabilitation programme for drug addicts that she heads in Almeria.

The high court found in the nun’s favour, ruling that Lopez had used expressions which seriously injured the witness’s honour and defamed her. 

She was surprised by the verdict, Lopez said afterwards and announced that she would make an appeal.

Coinciding with the Almeria case members of ‘stolen baby’ associations in Andalucia recently met the regional president Susana Diaz. They asked for financial aid to help them fight their cases in the courts and called for a public DNA bank to assist investigation into suspected cases by collating analyses.

“We can’t depend on private laboratories and can’t check information ourselves because of data protection laws,” said Maria Bueno, spokeswoman for the eight associations who pleaded their case with the Junta president.

“This is an important measure that should be handled by the state, because there are babies who were born in Andalucia but are now in other regions and abroad.”

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