Stolen babies, stolen lives, Spanish justice served cold
Taken from their mothers at birth, offered to be raised by another. We match Juani and Paloma, two Spanish girls swept up in Spain’s scandal of stolen children.
They’re among many struggling to come quickly to terms with offenses done for them and their natural parents years ago.
Supporters say there have been tens and thousands of fake adoptions, starting throughout the Franco regime. Money changed hands between foster families and physicians, nurses, priests, nuns — who didn’t always understand the children were taken.
Juani, 48, wonders about her brother. He was sent in the Santa Cristina Center in Madrid. However they informed her mom he was stillborn. Juani believes her brother continues to be alive somewhere.
Paloma Perez Calleja’s situation is established. She’s now 57. She was a stolen child. She’d a DNA test performed in 2004. She borrowed her adoptive mother’s tooth-brush to complete it. The evidence left no room for appeal. She took that action consequently of the challenge.
Paloma said: “My mom explained that her family was her nieces and her cousin, and I didn’t fit in with the family, that my family was my kids and my husband. When I was directed at her, she’d been told that my birth mother was a prostitute who didn’t need me.”
This Year, Paloma introduced a formal complaint through the Spanish courts. Others did too. The event was shelved. Today, however, Spain’s second-highest court has re-opened it. It considers it among extended, illegal detention.
Paloma said: “I believe law enforcement and the appropriate authorities have to find my true family; I arrived on the scene of the center two hours old; they’ve an obligation to find my natural mother.”
Juani Fernández hasbeen looking for her younger brother for 3 years. In 1963, the Santa Cristina Center was under strong suspicion. The Spanish government, in the place of hospitals or even the Catholic Church, began regulating adoptions in 1987.
Juani said: “When it started initially to emerge that children have been taken, Santa Cristina was mentioned all around the press. I knew my buddy had died but I didn’t know whether he really had been taken from my mom. I searched for his baptism certificate. [Actually stillborns were baptised.] And it had been obviously faked. It never happened.”
Specialist authorities evaluation confirms the report released by the Archbishopric of Madrid is false. Additional documents contradict each other about the occasion of the birth and demise of Juani’s buddy.
Juani said: “The judge analyzed the case for 2 years, subsequently qualified that criminal detention had occurred, that the case was saturated in problems, that everything had been falsified. What I don’t understand is excatly why the event was then closed by her! Why doesn’t she keep looking? That’s what I don’t understand about justice in Spain!”
Global Press also talked to some lawyer.
Global Press: “To try and shed some light about the stolen children scandal, we’re joined from Madrid by Guillermo Peña. You’re the spokesman for the advocacy group SOS Stolen Children Madrid and an attorney. The very first thing that strikes you about any of it is that it’s been happening since prior to the 1950s, until the finish of the 80s. Just how can it have now been possible to get infants and provide them-so gently? Who decided, and why?”
Guillermo Peña: “I think lots of it had been inertia, that occur through the years, and therefore the people who were responsible were, presumably, those who supplied the babies’ identification paperwork: possibly some workers, nurses and physicians in the civil registry. This kind of thing simply carried on on the margins of political and legal developments in the united states, to ensure that this poor practice, this desire for the money lasted till the finish of the 1980s.”
Global Press: “The purpose was financial?”
Peña: “There isn’t any question. Perhaps in the beginning, in early 1940s, there clearly was a political objective, or perhaps a twisted sense of charity, very poorly considered, but whilst the routine developed economically, somebody found an effective way to create money by taking children, due to the fact it may be done without making a trace.”
Global Press: “What are we speaing frankly about, exactly? Infants taken from their parents, unusual or illegal adoptions, marketing?”
Peña: “Firstly, we’ve got people searching for their kids who allegedly died in hospital and whose bodies they never found, and who, when they appear for civil registry documents they find there isn’t a death certificate, or that there’s nobody buried in the graveyard. Then there are irregular adoptions, which can be when it’s announced the child’s birth parents are unknown, because the actual natural parents never gave their permission for this usage, and that’s what’s created in the registry by another household via an irregular process. In a third kind of situation, we’ve kids where it had been created ‘parents unknown’ and who nobody ever adopted.”
Global Press: “The people affected protest an excellent injustice was done, that they’re not paid attention to, that their cases get nowhere. Exactly Why Is it so complex to provide justice to them? How far can each goes?”
Peña: “To discover the reality by what happened, there are just two ways: to truly have a DNA test performed, and to obtain all of the documents in the civil registry and the delivery center in regards to the work when it occurred. This Really Is what the patients themselves ask the hospitals to supply, and what the establishment of justice requires for, what we the attorneys ask for. Time and again, the hospitals say they can’t discover the documents within their records, the registry publications that serve to track the kid. This delay, and needing to request frequently, prevents us from gathering the information, and without it-you can’t come up with a legal case.”