Many NotMoms struggle to accept that status, and for many of them, viable options are available: adoption, surrogacy, foster parenthood. In Spain, another option has been revealed: buy a hot baby.
For the past 2 years, investigations have been ongoing, responding to demands from families of babies who disappeared in Spanish hospitals. And the disappearances didn’t just start in 2009. No, the babies started disappearing more than 50 years ago.
It all started during the regime of General Francisco Franco who seized children from families he felt were dangerous to his political control of the country. It grew into an illicit business (as if what General Franco was doing wasn’t illicit enough) that continued into the 1980s.
Last June, CBS News reported that 849 babies were snatched and sold. Now, a Barcelona lawyer is estimating that as many as 300,000 cases may exist — 15% of all Spanish adoptions between 1960 and 1989. In most cases, mothers were told that their babies were stillborn, and in the case of a multiple birth, only the first baby was given to the mother and the twin whisked away.
Who’s guilty? Doctors and nurses, of course, but also — wait for it — nuns and priests. Global Post reports that the Catholic Church has “declined to comment.” Of course, the vast majority of Catholic sisters around the world are the saving grace of babies, and their mothers, too. In Spain? Apparently, not so much.
Stories of stolen babies have always fascinated me because the root cause is not greed or selfishness but mental illness. It must be. Why else would a woman choose to end her yearning for a baby by causing another woman the same pain?
It’s obvious to me that a growing number of childfree women are speaking up and speaking out. Let’s hope that the market for stolen babies in Spain and everywhere else begins to dry up as more NotMoms find each other, share their stories and accept their own value just as they are.