In 1992 Ruth Appleby was living in Spain where she had a baby girl who died shortly after birth – or so Appleby believed at the time. Now, Appleby thinks it’s possible her baby did not die, but was stolen from her.
“I can’t describe the pain I felt, and until February 2012 I lived thinking my daughter had died,” Appleby said. “But a Spanish friend came to visit in the UK and told me about a scandal that had broken in Spain where up to 300,000 babies had been stolen and sold for adoption across the world between the 1950’s to the late 1990’s.”
That’s when it occurred to Appleby the daughter she lost might have been stolen, and she’s been “battling for an effective investigation” since then, even going through the Spanish justice system “to no avail.”
Appleby is British, so to get answers, she’s started a petition calling on the UK Home Secretary to push her case further.
“When my daughter’s remains were exhumed to bring them back to the UK, the skeleton I saw appeared to be that of a much older infant,” Appleby said.
Appleby wants DNA testing on the ashes believed to be her daughter. She said then-secretary Theresa May expressed sadness over her story in a letter, but could not help.
“I know that more can be done – if they knew the pain of not knowing what happened to your lost child, I’m sure they would take action,” Appleby said. “My hopes are to find the truth. And I hope my story will help others that may have been affected by this too.”
Ruth is trying to raise £5,000 for DNA testing.
“The money raised will enable us to subject the ashes to mitochondrial sequencing which will hopefully provide conclusive DNA proof that this is not Rebecca. This evidence is essential for me to pursue new avenues of justice and encourage the authorities in both the UK and Spain to act.”
“My case is one of the estimated 300,000 babies believed to have been abducted in Spain from the early 1950’s to the late 1990’s . They were either taken from the biological families deemed to be ‘unfit parents’ as they were against General Franco, to punish biological mothers or simply to sell. It was a lucrative business!”