The idea of someone stealing your child is something akin to a waking nightmare. There are legends all over the world of wicked characters who steal children at birth. In Asturias. northern Spain, there is a mythical creature called a “Xana” who steals people’s babies and replaces them with her own offspring so that they can receive baptism and be fed by a human mother’s milk. There is also the enduring figure of the “changling” – the child-imposter, who re-emerged recently in the film starring Angelina Jolie.
Whilst these creatures seem mythical and remote, a modern nightmare is being lived out in Spain with the discovery of literally thousands of cases of babies stolen from poor and uneducated mothers and sold to adoptive families by people of standing including doctors, nurses, priests and nuns. As the revelations continue, the indisputable evidence of DNA testing has brought this silent nightmare into sharp public focus.
Here is a link to a Spanish TV programme on the subject: