The Public Prosecutor in Sevilla has opened an investigation into a possible 19 cases of ‘baby thefts’ carried out during the Franco period.
A coordinator has been appointed to investigate whether the children referred to did actually die at birth or whether they were stolen and subsequently given up for adoption to other families.
Thirteen of the cases were referred by the Attorney General who decided that such cases should be investigated in the relevant provinces. The remaining six have come to light in the past six weeks.
The alleged thefts were carried out in the period between 1960 and 1980, once again the adoptive parents were told one of three stories: the parents died in a tragic accident, the mother was a drug addict or was a prostitute and didn’t want the child.
The stories told to both mothers and adoptive parents seem to be identical in each province where such incidents have occurred. The mothers were invariably sedated and upon waking were told that the baby had died, and in the vast majority of cases the mother was not allowed to see the baby.
It is estimated that as many as 300,000 babies were stolen during the Franco regime.