February 10, 2006

Allegations of Illegal Adoptions Implicate Church


Marcela Valente

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 10 (IPS) - María Jerez remembers her first daughter, who would be 17 today. She says that when the baby was born, she gave her to Catholic nuns in the northern Argentine province of Santiago del Estero in exchange for a promise of a house.

The local bishop's office flatly rejects such allegations.

"The nuns told me they would find parents for her. Many girls have given up their babies. My sister has given them around five children," she said matter-of-factly.

Jerez is just one of eight poor women who allege that their babies or small children were taken from them in procedures marred by irregularities in the town of Añatuya in the province of Santiago del Estero, according to a lawsuit that implicates members of the order of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and the office of the local Roman Catholic bishop. ...

The reports of illegal adoptions dealt another blow to local Catholic authorities, who have already been hit hard by scandals involving several priests.

Early this month, Bishop of Añatuya Adolfo Uriona was arrested after a 24-year-old woman accused him of sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at February 10, 2006 11:13 AM