EDITORIAL: Time for justice

El Pais

June 27, 2018

English version by Susana Urra

The first case to go to trial in connection with a network of stolen babies is a reminder of a pending task in Spain

Before turning the page on history, it is necessary to read that page first. And Spain has yet to read the chapter on the shameful and widespread practice of taking babies away from mothers who were typically single, with no resources or the ability to protest, and then giving those children to wedded couples whom the Franco regime considered appropriate parents.

Starting with the Civil War (1936-1939), and up until 1981, many women were systematically robbed of their newborns during the Franco dictatorship and early democratic years – first inside the prisons and later at health clinics. The baby theft was perpetrated by medical and religious elites who denied these women their ability to be mothers, and who allegedly profited financially from the transaction.

The babies were delivered to couples who were in good standing with the Franco regime, generally prior payment of amounts that fueled the baby trafficking – which was viewed as adoptions back at the time. Prosecutors have received nearly 2,000 complaints so far.

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