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Shocking facts of Spain’s 30-year adoption scandal revealed


Summary of story from the Global Post, October 3, 2011

Antonio Barroso, 42, discovered the truth about his parentage three years ago, after his old friend Juan Luis Mareno called him one day and told him their parents bought them from a nun in Zaragoza, Spain.

Moreno’s adopted father had just made a deathbed confession. Both men were stolen as babies from their parents and sold into adoption.

DNA tests proved that the woman Barroso had called mother was not a biological parent and she confessed to having paid a nun, Montserrat Vivas Llorens, 200,000 pesetas (1,200 euros) for him.

In 1969 this was an enormous sum of money, equal to the price of an apartment. It took his factory worker adoptive parents ten years to pay by instalment.

Llorens told the two men that another nun Montserrat Rius, asked her for “two children for the Penedès region, adding: “Your cases were special … your parents were friends of another nun.”

Barroso and Moreno have since founded The National Association for Victims of Irregular Adoptions (ANADIR).

ANADIR is dedicated to shedding light on the adoption scandal in Spain, and has established a DNA bank that, every Friday, crosses the genetic profiles of members looking for matches.

Since February 2010, more than 1,800 people searching for their blood relatives have joined and so far, five families have been reunited.

The number of stories that has emerged over the last two years is staggering. Adoption lawyer, Enrique Vila, puts it at around 300,000; equal to 15 per cent of Spain’s total adoptions between 1960 and 1989.

Prosecutors believe that rather than a ‘baby mafia’, the primary motivation was making money, and public and private hospitals, doctors, nurses, midwives and nuns were involved.

The Catholic Church has so far declined to comment.

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