Spanish mother finds her ‘stolen’ baby after 44 years

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When Marie-Jose, who had a Spanish father and a French mother, was 22 when she became pregnant out of wedlock.

Her father, who she described as “very, very strict”, took her to the “Santo Celo”, or “Holy Zeal”, convent to give birth on July 12, 1969, and despite her father’s repeated promises that she would be able to keep her baby, he gave the newborn to the nuns at the convent without Marie-Jose’s consent.

Under the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, the newborns of some left-wing opponents of the regime or unmarried couples were removed from their mothers and adopted. Sometimes, mothers were told the lie that their babies had died after birth.

Now after 44 years, DNA tests have reunited her with her son.

Marie-Jose, who is married and has another son now aged 30, never gave up the search for her first born.

Her son discovered he was adopted at the age of 14. After the death of his adoptive mother in 2011, at the height of the stolen babies scandal in Spain, Marie-Jose’s lost son noticed that his birth certificate listed his adoptive parents as being his biological mother and father.

He  contacted associations that help reunite such families in Valencia, which quickly matched him up with Marie-Jose, who they knew well. DNA tests proved the mother-son link. 

Maire-Jose hopes her story will encourage others to keep searching.

She plans to meet with her son on June 21 and celebrate his birthday July 12.

“He is married with an eight-year-old son. I am a grandmother,” Marie Jose said. “My grandson calls me yaya (grandma) on the telephone. It is an incredible joy”.

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