The Stolen: Spain’s Missing Babies

Up to 300,000 babies in Spain were stolen from ‘undesirable’ families and trafficked by an unholy alliance of doctors, the Catholic Church and Franco’s Secret police. Now, decades on, some of these stolen children are trying to find their biological families.

The racket began shortly after the Spanish Civil War as a way of stopping a new generation of ‘Reds’ or Republican supporters, from emerging. But it continued until the early 1990s, decades after Franco’s death, for economic reasons. Poor women or single mothers would enter a Church run hospital to give birth and be told that their child had died during labour. The babies would then be placed with ’appropriate’ wealthy families, usually in exchange for a donation.

Lily is one of the thousands of babies illegally adopted. We follow her as she tries to track down her birth family.


  • Year: 2013
  • Duration: 52 mins
  • Director: Sandrine Mercier and Juan Gordillo Hidalgo
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA, English Script Available
  • Country of production: France

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