13 Apr 2012

DNA database to track stolen babies

6:32 am on 13 April 2012

The Spanish government is setting up a DNA database to help track down thousands of babies removed from their families by health and religious workers over a period of at least 50 years.

The practice flourished through the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, who ruled from 1936 - 1975, and up to the 1990s.

A 1940 decree allowed infants to be taken into custody if their moral education was deemed to be at risk. This included children of the poor, the young, the unmarried or those who were anti-Franco.

It's now claimed that under cover of this law, hundreds of babies were sold by nuns, doctors, nurses and other health workers.