Babies were stolen from people in Spain and sold to better-connected families for decades (h/t Tim F. at Balloon Juice):
After months of requests from the BBC, the Spanish government finally put forward Angel Nunez from the justice ministry to talk to me about Spain's stolen children.It is bad enough that the Church was so closely entwined with Franco in Spain, but this is pretty horrific. I hadn't heard anything about this, but it is another black eye on the Church. Somehow, this seems like a moral perversion which approaches abortion in an end-justifies-means way. In the same way that abortion is defended as preventing a childhood of suffering for unwanted babies, doctors, nuns and priests determined that children should be taken from some mothers and given (or sold) to "better," or more accurately, wealthier parents, to be raised. Clearly, any human-run organization has flaws, but to me, the problems with the Church seem so much greater because of the secrecy and great effort with which they have been hidden. Continually burying obviously immoral actions committed by members of the organization to prevent damage to the organization makes the damage that much worse. This is one more destructive story to further marginalize the Church in the developed world.
Asked if babies were stolen, Mr Nunez replied: "Without a doubt".
"How many?" I asked.
"I don't dare to come up with figures," he answered carefully. "But from the volume of official investigations I dare to say there were many."
Lawyers believe that up to 300,000 babies were taken.
The practice of removing children from parents deemed "undesirable" and placing them with "approved" families, began in the 1930s under the dictator General Francisco Franco.
At that time, the motivation may have been ideological. But years later, it seemed to change - babies began to be taken from parents considered morally - or economically - deficient. It became a money-spinner, too.
The scandal is closely linked to the Catholic Church, which under Franco assumed a prominent role in Spain's social services including hospitals, schools and children's homes.
Nuns and priests compiled waiting lists of would-be adoptive parents, while doctors were said to have lied to mothers about the fate of their children.