A 2011 BBC documentary uncovered one of the most unimaginable scandals of the 20th century: Up to 300,000 Spanish babies were stolen from their parents and sold for adoption over a period of five decades. The children were trafficked by a secret network of doctors, nurses, priests and nuns in a widespread practice that began during General Franco’s dictatorship and continued until the early Nineties. Hundreds of families who had babies taken from Spanish hospitals are now battling for an official government investigation into the scandal. Several mothers say they were told their first-born children had died during or soon after they gave birth. But the women, often young and unmarried, were told they could not see the body of the infant or attend their burial. In reality, the babies were sold to childless couples whose devout beliefs and financial security meant that they were seen as more appropriate parents.Official documents were forged so the adoptive parents’ names were on the infants’ birth certificates. In many cases it is believed they were unaware that the child they received had been stolen, as they were usually told the birth mother had given them up. Journalist Katya Adler, who has investigated the scandal, says: ‘The situation is incredibly sad for thousands of people.