The stories of babies stolen in Spain in the 20th century reach the US.

Concha Tejerina Valencia (Spain), Jan 15 (EFE).- The stories of children stolen and sold through a clandestine black market of babies for decades in Spain have reached the United States, a country where many of them ended up adopted by married couples. North Americans who worked in Spanish cities. The Spanish lawyer Enrique Vila compiled seven of those false adoptions in Spain in the 20th century in the book “Stolen Stories”, which was published in 2011, three years later it was translated into Italian and distributed in Italy, and now jumps the Atlantic and for a week it has been marketed in the United States under the title “Betrayed at birth”. “There is an implication of the United States because many of the babies adopted in Spain ended up in that country,” Vila told EFE. “There is a lot of the phenomenon of people who were adopted by American couples who worked in Spain. The transfer of some children bought in Spain who ended up in the United States is a fact,” he adds. Vila explains that many Irish people from the Congregation of the Magdalene Sisters in Dublin ended up being adopted in the United States, and alludes to the film “Philomena” (2013), directed by Stephen Frears and based on the true story of an Irish teenager who she lived in a nuns’ boarding school, she became pregnant and the baby was taken from her, who was adopted by an American politician. In addition, it indicates that in the United States there have been “baby trading mafias” and a woman was convicted of taking babies from their mothers and giving them up for adoption. “The issue of stolen children is of interest in the United States, as in the rest of the world,” says Vila, who points out that the American public, which is “very sensitive,” was “quite” unaware of what happened in Spain and, therefore, the book in which there is a legal and historical explanation of the subject but also tells short stories. “It’s drawing a lot of attention,” he acknowledges. The lawyer is currently working on the search for a girl who lives in the United States. She was born in the Spanish town of Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz, south) and was taken to that country. “It’s a big issue but it seems that in Spain we already have it discounted, although I think that in the rest of the world, when they find out, they are left with their mouths open,” he stresses. MORE THAN 300 REUNIONS Vila, who when he was 23 years old found out that he had been adopted and wanted to look for his biological mother, has achieved 300 direct reunions with people in the same situation with his work. Also indirectly, he has been consulted on various cases and even his lawsuits are copied, something he is happy about. “There are thousands of cases, although there are more lawyers and associations dedicated to them and the work has been distributed,” says the lawyer, who estimates that in Spain there are nearly 300,000 people registered with false identities, although that “is not the same as being a stolen baby,” he clarifies. Knowing the real number of stolen children is really difficult, he says, because “not all the false registrations are of stolen babies, but not all of the adopted ones are given up voluntarily.” EFE ct/cbr/jsm/ajs/vh (File resources at Code 4615618 and others)

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