A British mother has had her newborn baby seized by a Spanish hospital and told she must take a DNA test to prove the girl is hers.
And, even if results confirm Stacie Cottle, 27, is the mother, she faces waiting up to a year to bring her daughter home because the hospital’s actions mean she has missed a ten-day deadline to register a baby born abroad as a UK citizen.
‘Everyone treats me like I am a baby thief – they are calling me a criminal,’ she said. ‘It’s ridiculous.’
One doctor allegedly told her ‘no baby had been born outside the hospital in ten years’ and her baby was too old to be a newborn.
After an intrusive examination which proved she had given birth, doctors accepted she was a new mother but still insisted Anzelika could not be hers, and took the child into social services care while a DNA test was carried out.
The dental nurse said her baby arrived so quickly there was no time for an ambulance but as both mother and baby were healthy, they only went for a check-up at hospital in nearby Velez-Malaga the following day – where she was treated with suspicion by hostile staff +4
The dental nurse said her baby arrived so quickly there was no time for an ambulance but as both mother and baby were healthy, they only went for a check-up at hospital in nearby Velez-Malaga the following day – where she was treated with suspicion by hostile staff
But last night a tearful Miss Cottle, who has not left the grounds of the Hospital Comarcal de la Axarquia since her daughter was taken more than a fortnight ago, was still awaiting the DNA results. A hospital source said they had ‘no idea’ how long this would take.
Miss Cottle said: ‘It is the worst thing I could ever have imagined. All I want is to be with my daughter. Being separated is not in the best interests of either of us.
‘There is absolutely no confidentiality, everybody in the hospital is talking about it. Every day I think that maybe today will be the day the DNA results come, but it never is.’
She said she had brought maternity documents and scans to the hospital which proved she had been pregnant but they had been taken from her.
Miss Cottle, from Stratford, East London, is allowed to sleep on another ward and breastfeed the child, although she claimed nurses fail to call her when her daughter needs feeding and, against her wishes, give the baby formula instead.
She has also only been able to see her other daughter, three, for brief periods because the toddler is not allowed on to the ward and Miss Cottle is too scared to leave – in case she is not let back in.
The older girl is being cared for by Miss Cottle’s English teacher mother.
Miss Cottle said she feared the hospital acted in the way it did because of her race. She said: ‘They do have a problem with immigration (in Spain) and you have the problem of migrants trying to have babies here.’
She said staff had talked about it openly in front of her. ‘I have heard it all: people have said maybe I’m from Senegal or from Kenya, irrespective of my British passport.’
Miss Cottle is separated from the baby’s father. Her mother, Veronica, 53, said of her daughter’s treatment: ‘She is not supposed to be apart from her baby. It is racism – that is why we are here.’
A hospital source said staff intervened because a paediatrician ‘felt it was necessary’. The source insisted the move had ‘absolutely nothing to do with immigrants at all’.
Police, social services and courts in Velez-Malaga declined to comment or did not return requests for a comment. Miss Cottle said the British Consulate had been supportive but it had no jurisdiction.