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US NewsSpanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily

17:53  12 july  2019
17:53  12 july  2019 Source:   msn.com

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The first woman recognised by Spanish courts as one of the " stolen babies " of the Franco dictatorship has found her biological family who told her she had in fact been given up voluntarily for adoption by her mother , public prosecutors said Thursday. During General Francisco Franco's 1939.

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Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily © DOMINIQUE FAGET Ines Madrigal found out in 2010 that she was one of the 'stolen babies'

The first woman recognised by Spanish courts as one of the "stolen babies" of the Franco dictatorship has found her biological family who told her she had in fact been given up voluntarily for adoption by her mother, public prosecutors said Thursday.

During General Francisco Franco's 1939-75 dictatorial rule, hundreds of babies were taken from their mothers -- who were told their children had died -- and given to others to adopt, often with the help of the Catholic Church.

Initially, babies were taken from left-wing opponents of the regime, with the practice later expanded to supposedly illegitimate children and those from poor families.

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declared Spain ’s first identified “ stolen baby ” finds out her biological family gave her up willingly at that she has found her biological family and learned that her mother gave her up voluntarily . Madrid prosecutors confirmed the news, saying in a statement that she was “ voluntarily ” given up for A Spanish court has ruled that a doctor stole a newborn child nearly five decades ago, one of

Read more: Spanish families maintain babies were stolen under Franco regime. Ines Madrigal talks to the press outside the Provincial Court in Madrid in June. Madrigal began to suspect she had been stolen from her birth mother after reading a 2010 article about the clinic's involvement in the practice.

The newborns were meant to be raised by affluent, conservative and devout Roman Catholic families.

Estimates range from hundreds to tens of thousands of victims.

Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily TOPSHOT - A man holds a placard displaying pictures of Spanish late dictator Francisco Franco and Germany's late dictator Adolf Hitler during a demonstration titled 'NiValleNiAlmudena, Madrid sin Franco' (Madrid without Franco) in Madrid on October 25, 2018, against the proposal of moving the remains of Spanish late dictator Francisco Franco to the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP) (Photo credit should read OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP/Getty Images) Ines Madrigal, a 50-year-old railway worker, became the first -- and so far only -- suspected "stolen baby" to bring her case to trial, turning her into one of the most visible faces of the campaign to seek justice for the families who were torn apart.

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The lost children of Francoism were the children abducted from Republican parents, who were either in jail or had been assassinated by Nationalist troops, during the Spanish Civil War and Francoist Spain . The number of abducted children is estimated to be up to 300,000.

Spain 's first trial linked to thousands of suspected cases of babies stolen from their mothers during the Franco dictatorship wrapped up with prosecutors It is alleged that in 1969 he took Ines Madrigal from her biological mother and gave her to another woman who then raised her and was falsely

A Spanish court last year convicted an 85-year-old former gynaecologist, Eduardo Vela, for having taken Madrigal in 1969 from her biological mother shortly after she was born at the now-defunct San Ramon clinic in Madrid.

He escaped punishment, however, because the court decided Madrigal had waited too long to file a complaint.

But the Madrid public prosecutor's office said Thursday that just a few months later, in March 2019, Madrigal discovered her biological family through a DNA database in the United States.

She learned not only that her real mother had died, but also that she had given Madrigal away voluntarily.

Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily © Artur Widak/NurPhoto A view of Francisco Franco statue in Melilla. Melilla retains the only statue of Franco that can be seen standing on a public road and, after being withdrawn in 2005 due to road works that were to take place, was placed back about 50 meters from its previous location. This statue was made before Franco became the Head of State and celebrates his achievements in the War of Africa. On Wednesday, December 6, 2018, in Melilla, Spain. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

"Her real brothers on her mother's side and an aunt... confirmed that she was 'voluntarily' given up for adoption," the office said in a statement.

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Spain 's stolen babies scandal went on for decades, from Franco's early years in power to the 1990s. It took a long time to surface because the Roman Catholic Church and medical profession are highly respected, and Spanish law did not require the biological mother 's name on the birth certificate.

What is the ' stolen babies ' case? Campaigners have long highlighted a secret practice of baby abductions during the dictatorship of Gen Francisco Franco Only this week, with the spotlight back on the issue, have Spain 's main political parties promised to work together to improve victims' access to

The prosecutors said that it should no longer be considered proven that Vela had stolen a baby as ruled by the court last year.

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Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily

Madrigal told a Madrid news conference that the fact that her biological mother had given her up voluntarily "does not mean that doctor Vela is not guilty of multiple crimes."

She said she had met her four biological brothers "who are wonderful people and who have opened their arms and heart to me."

"For the first time, I have completed the puzzle that is my life," she added.

Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily © 2019 Marcos del Mazo MADRID, SPAIN - 2019/05/05: A banner with the picture of dictator Francisco Franco and the words 'ignominy must disappear' during a protest at the entrance of the Valley of the Fallen where dictator Francisco Franco and Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera are buried. (Photo by Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Madrigal did not want to reveal the identity of her biological family to protect their privacy.

Suspicions remain that Vela was responsible for other baby thefts.

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Courts have rejected most other "stolen babies" lawsuits in the past because the statute of limitations had expired.

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Biggest news stories of 2019 (Photos)

Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily
Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily

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