December 10, 2022

Spain’s stolen generation

A painful chapter of Spain’s 1936-39 Civil War – the removal of children from mothers who were political opponents to be adopted out or even sold – has an even more painful sequel. As many as 30,000 children may have been removed from women identified with the politics of the losing side under the regime of Francisco Franco.

A painful chapter of Spain’s 1936-39 Civil War
– the removal of children from mothers who were political opponents to be adopted
out or even sold – has an even more painful sequel. As many as 30,000 children may
have been removed from women identified with the politics of the losing side under
the regime of Francisco Franco.

The surprise for Spaniards has been that the
practice of removing and even selling babies continued into the mid 1990s. “A
great many Spaniards” had been affected by the scandal, which took place “over
a prolonged period of time,” Attorney-general Candido Conde-Pumpido told the
media. Activists claim that of the 2 million adoptions in Spain between 1940 and
1980, 10%, or 200,000 involved false documentation. In June Conde-Pumpido announced
that prosecutors are investigating 849 cases of stolen children; 162 cases have
been referred for trial and only 38 have been dropped for lack of evidence.

Anadir,
a lobby group for people searching for lost children or parents, says that baby-snatching
began as a punishment for Republican women but became an underground money-spinner
even after Spain became a democracy in 1978. The founder, 41-year-old Antonio Barroso,
discovered only three years ago that he had been purchased for 200,000 pesetas (the
Spanish currency that preceded the euro). Other tragic stories have emerged from
recent investigations. Mothers who brought flowers to their baby’s grave for 30
years discovered empty coffins when the child was exhumed. Hospital paperwork about
“deceased” twins has turned out to be fraudulent. The investigations are just beginning.
~ AP, June 17;

Michael Cook
attachment
genetic orphans
stolen generation