According to estimations about 300,000 newborns were kidnapped by nuns, priests and doctors for long years in Spain. Since the scandal broken off in the last year, thousands of parents and children try to find each other with help of DNA banks. The first accused of this surprisingly well-organized kidnapping series is an 80 years-old nun, Maria Gomez Valbuena who was in the dock in the end of April, 2012.
Many gossip spread over Spain about the kidnapping of newborns for long years but the truth just last year came to light when two friends, Antonio Barroso and Juan Luis Moreno knew that they were adopted illegally for forty years ago. Antonio’s father said on his deathbed that he bought the son from a nun in Zaragoza and paid twice the price of their house for the newborn. Juan Luis also was a victim of a similar business transaction. The two angry men made their stories public in the press. The two men said they felt themselves as dogs who were bought in a pet shop. After their publication more and more people started to find their real parents and their children.
When the dictatorship moves into the maternity rooms
From the 1940′s years when the Franco’s dictatorship started to the early 1990′s years thousands newborns were taken away from their mothers and gives to other families. At first only children of the political prisoners got such families whom political convictions won the regime’s liking. Later, the Catholic Church which operated the hospitals became a part of these acts. During Franco’s dictatorship, the government believed that these children need for re-education. Even, they were proud of it. The Spanish authorities each year publicated statistical datas about how many children were “rescued” from their parents. The authorities have carefully removed the traces. These children were given new names, so it was impossible to find the real relationships. In addition the ideological brainwashing was working well because in many cases the real parents called the enemy of the regime or killers, so looking for them wasn’t on the mind of their growing up children. Now the Spanish bishops assure the nun who first was in the dock of their complete aid.
When a business is launched
The ideologically-inspired children kidnapping soon transformed to flourishing business. The adoptive families paid average 8,000 dollars for a baby. The nuns and priests who transacted the business not only did it because of money but they did it because of moral considerations. They were convinced deeply that more better for the children if they don’t live with a divorced woman or in a “undesirable” family but they grow up in a “normal” family who represent the conservative values. Because in the 1970′s and 1980′s years in Spain the social norms didn’t accepted the divorce and the women who lived alone. In general they kidnapped the newborns from single mothers or from a married woman, who had several children. These women bore a healthy babies but after the birth a nun who worked as a nurse said to them that thier children died. The hospitals were ready for the case when the parents wanted to see the corpse. There were some died baby bodies in the refrigerators of the hospitals and when it was necessary, they showed them. In the birth certificate sometimes written that the child’s mother is unknown. In the Eduardo Vela Clinic, Madrid which is affected in the kidnapping, 70% of the newborns’s birth certificates wrote their mothers as unknown in 1981.
Hundreds of thousands of angry people
Neither the Spanish authorities, nor the politicians don’t want to handle these kidnappings as a crime against the humanity. The Spanish government has also refused to set up a fact-finding committee. The scandal is closely related to the Catholic Church, which played an important role during the dictatorship of Franco in the operating of hospitals, schools and children’s homes as well. The nuns and the priests made waiting list about parents who wanted to child and they transacted the business with aid of doctors. According to the charge Maria Gomez Valbuena kidnapped a baby in 1982 from a hospital in Madrid. The mother, Maria Luisa Torres said in the trial that after the birth Maria nun taken away her daughter. Later when she interested in about the baby, the nun threatened her with she will take away her other daughter also and she will get into to the prison because of adultery. The mother almost twenty years later could to meet with her daughter, Pilar. Many mothers feel relief now. They were considered crazy because they didn’t believe that their children really dead. Sometimes they really thought it about themselves also because nobody thought that the nuns, priests or doctors told a lie to them. In addition the people who knew the game rules of the Franco’s dictatorship never had enough courage to query the “facts” what these hospital workers said to them.
Written by Ilona Kaszanyi