April 13 - Adoptive father Alejandro Alcalde gives his account of the adoption of his daughter, who was allegedly taken illegally from her birth mother. Lindsey Parietti reports.
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An adoptive father appears at a Madrid tribunal on Friday as part of an adoption scandal in Spain.
The allegations are that hospital workers and nuns sold babies over several decades, telling the birth mothers that their infants had died.
On Thursday Sister Maria Gomez Valbuena became the first person to be accused in the case after hundreds of women filed complaints that their babies were taken at birth and given away without their permission.
Alejandro Alcalde said Valbuena helped arrange the adoption of his daughter and he was unaware of any wrongdoing.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ADOPTIVE FATHER OF CHILD ALLEGEDLY TAKEN FROM HER MOTHER AND ADOPTED ILLEGALLY BY SISTER MARIA GOMEZ VALBUENA, ALEJANDRO ALCALDE, SAYING:
"I would proudly take my daughter to Sister Maria because she was born quite sick and I was told that I didn't have to adopt her because her illness could have repercussions. She grew up to be healthy and I felt very proud so I would take her and show her to Sister Maria because she was the woman that got me a child."
Alcalde said he broke off relations when the nun resisted his attempts to get his daughter to meet her birth mother.
The prosecution lawyer said Sister Maria directly contacted mothers looking to adopt through local authorities and offered them babies.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PROSECUTION LAWYER GUILLERMO PEÑA SAYING:
"They tried adopting through the provincial authorities like any legal process, but Sister Maria got in touch with them and told them that route was difficult and not to have high hopes. She would take charge of looking, that it would be difficult and they say after two weeks or so they got a call from her saying there was a possibility a mother may want to give up her child."
The nun, now in her 80s, is facing charges of illegal detention and falsifying documents.
Lindsey Parietti, Reuters
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