Spain’s Stolen Babies

60 minutes 10.0/10 based on 2 votes

Spain is reeling from an avalanche of allegations of baby theft and baby trafficking. It is thought that the trade began at the end of the Spanish civil war and continued for 50 years, with hundreds of thousands of babies traded by nuns, priests and doctors up to the 1990s. This World reveals the impact of Spain’s stolen baby scandal through the eyes of the children and parents who were separated at birth, and who are now desperate to find their relatives.

Exhumations of the supposed graves of babies and positive DNA tests are proof that baby theft has happened. Across Spain, people are queuing up to take a DNA test and thousands of Spaniards are asking ‘Who am I?’

Katya Adler has been meeting the heartbroken mothers who are searching for the children whom they were told died at birth, as well as the stolen and trafficked babies who are now grown up and searching for their biological relatives and their true identities.

Released 18 Oct 2011. 60 min. Director: Steven Grandison. TV documentary.

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  • Raya

    Watching this doc made my skin crawl. I had not heard of this issue before seeing it here which is shocking as I am not one to have my head in the sand. Yet another example of the catholic church insinuating itself into government, avoiding being held accountable for its crimes while profiting from the pain of those it touches. A religion developed to control the masses is still IN CONTROL as shown by the fact that none of its leaders are ever truly punished for their crimes. Even if crimes are perpetrated by “the little man”- a small town priest or a nun, The Church never lets them face the court. Instead they are usually moved to another location, often without regard to oblivious future victims, and all information about the incident is hidden or destroyed. So they will protect their own- those contractually loyal to the “compound” while wiping their hands of the victim. In my mind, when I think of the catholic church I see an entity of enormous wealth and power that is being lead by people who view themselves as holding the reigns of GOD. In their minds no being of their order can do wrong since God is on their side and they are all powerful. The richest nation on earth is the Vatican which is completely owned by the Catholic Church. If the leaders of that nation actually viewed themselves as the hands of God-a good, loving, forgiving god- wouldn’t they be working extremely hard to reallocate funds to those in need? Instead the church dispenses token generosity largely instigated by the need for good publicity while keeping the lion’s share in their coffers. They are not “in the hands of the Lord.” Instead they have “God” in their hands and they are using the concept “Him” as a tool of manipulation and control. Its not surprising that no one has been prosecuted in connection with this massive kidnapping and baby selling ring, not when the Catholic church is at the heart of it. Because the Catholic church can get away with murder, rape, extortion and kidnapping… easy. Just don’t try to explain this to the devout. You cant reason with “faith”- its institutionalized brainwashing lacking intelligence in its conviction. So sorry for the offense many and any may have taken at reading this post.

    • karo

      Fantastic comment.

      • Raya

        Thank you. I was holding myself back as I don’t want to be accused of spreading hate, for harsh words are easily misconstrued as such. This documentary made me so mad though, it was nice to have an outlet for my anger. I was raised in a religious family, and was only allowed that one version of reality as I grew up. It takes a lot of brain power and energy to convince yourself to ignore logic and hold tight to your “faith” in order to be a good _________ (in my case- Christian Baptist). Maybe I was born a skeptic or maybe religion works best if you don’t have a lot of excess brain power left over after devoting the required amount to the faith aspect of things. Even when I was at the height of my religious youth, my zeal was hindered by that small questioning voice in my head which had to be stomped quiet regularly.

        They say (and by they I mean to say pastors and other religious leaders in general) that to have faith is the hardest thing you will ever have to do. In retrospect to my childhood this makes complete sense to me. Faith means believing in something for which you have no proof. In these modern times, it also means believing in something that goes against conflicting evidence/ logic. When the concept of “faith” is promoted as the cornerstone of a religion, it takes away a person’s intellectual independence and converts them into an automaton because obviously they cannot trust them self when they cant logically arrive at the “correct answer” which they were given- God and all that. Its like a class full of students trying on their own to find the answer to a mathematical problem. They’ve already seen the answer because they looked it up at the back of the book but not a single student can solve the problem with success. They all keep quiet because they feel they should understand what to do and to raise their hand would be drawing awareness to their inadequacy and maybe they’ve already been snubbed before for “stupid questions”. Meanwhile the teacher doesn’t understand what the hell to make of the answer in their “teacher text” either but since no one’s making him explain, he puts the answer on the board with an astute look and moves on. The fact that the answer in the back of a book is actually one of many mistakes made possible by rushed publishing dates being pushed by money hungry companies feeding off cracks in the education system and the students themselves is never made apparent and the next problem is presented to the class…When people are taught to accept and not question “fact,” progress becomes hindered because it becomes impossible to think for yourself. The notion of “foot soldiers in the army of God” is disgustingly apt. After all, the best army is the one that closest resembles mindless drones. Independent thinking is the antithesis.

        I wish for the people in this film and those effected by these terrible crimes the best luck finding their families and healing. Maybe some will even be able to lose the shackles of their faith through this hardship and find greater understanding and happiness in doing so.

        On a related note- there are so many institutions developed for the treatment and recovery of alcohol and substance dependence/addiction. But what about treatment for those recovering from religion? I’m off to do an internet search….

  • Zsuzsanna

    Catholics are dangerous.

  • Psion

    This is the same Catholic system that sanctioned American genocide of indigenous peoples over 500 years ago.

    I’m surprised no one put a bullet in this doctor’s head! That’s amazing considering what he had done. You’d think he’d be in fear of losing his life. What balls!

  • So horribly sad. I must have missed the news on that day, I never realized this was a huge issue, so depressing.

  • Wow I knew the Catholic church was wicked but this takes them to a whole new level of evil!

  • Diarmuid Breatnach

    It would be a huge mistake to ascribe these crimes to the Catholic Church hierarchy and its priests and nuns alone. The Church supported the fascist/ military uprising against the Popular Front government in 1936. Subsequently, the church shared power with Franco’s dictatorship and it was that dictatorship that protected the Church from challenge (and vice versa).

    During the “Transition” from dictatorship to “democratic” monarchy, not only the previous structures of police, judiciary, army, banking, media, politicians and civic administration were brought through unchanged into the new format, but the Church too.

    The conservative elements, from which are descended the PP (and UPN) today, for the most part supported this wholesale transference. The “communist” CPE was an important part of this Transition. All the social democratic parties in the Spanish state were either important supporters of this transition, like the PSOE, or defend its existence today. The biggest unions in the Spanish state, the UGT and the Comisiones Obreras, are controlled by the CPE and the PSOE.

    All of them are complicit and all can be traced to the failure to break radically with the fascist inheritance of Franco and his supporters. The Spanish state is the only country in Europe in which the fascist regime was neither overthrown by revolution nor by military invasion of the Red Army or the other Allied armed forces. Yet “democrats” today defend the Transition as a good thing. All who defend the Transition should stand in the dock with the torturers, the murderers, the jailers, those who cause so much human misery and of course the kidnappers and baby-traders of the Spanish Catholic Church.

  • Anonymous

    My older sister was born “stillbirth” in 1947 in mid March in a Catholic hospital. My parents never saw her. Her death certificate lists her as dying in mid May and she was buried in a mass grave in a Catholic cemetery in California. The mortician was known for making frequent trips to Europe.

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