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I Will Find You

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Spain - Castellón de la Plana - Portrait of Vanessa Muñoz Mallen, 45. Vanessa Muñoz Mallen was supposedly born on the 27th of July 1974 at the Clínica Virgen del Consuelo, in Valencia. The clinic doesn’t have any medical report of her birth, only a logbook where her unknown biological mother was registered as “patient of Doctor Carbonell”. The nuns at the clinic told Muñoz Mallen’s adoptive parents that the biological mother didn’t want to keep the baby.Muñoz Mallen was given to a young couple in their 20s who could not have kids and who desperately wanted a daughter. In the previous months, her future adoptive mother had staged a pregnancy, wearing large clothes in order to deceive the family’s acquaintances. For the first years of her Muñoz Mallen’s life, she lived in fear that the biological mother could come and claim her back.When Muñoz Mallen was a child, her schoolmates used to laugh at her and say her parents were not her real ones. Her father and mother eventually followed the advice of a psychologist and confessed she had been adopted. “Since then, my birthday has become the worst day of the year”, explains Muñoz Mallen, nowadays a 45-year-old woman. “When the date approaches I only wish that my mom remembered me as much as I remember her”. Muñoz Mallen never found her birth mother’s written consent to the adoption, only a few hospital receipts with the money her adoptive parents paid “as if I was a car”, she bitterly says. When she contacted a local association of stolen children in 2010, she was relieved to hear she might be one of them. “I would rather be stolen than abandoned”, she explains. “That’s how I felt for most of my life, even if my adoptive parents treated me well”. Last January, she was finally able to connect with a second cousin thanks to a US-based DNA testing company. She hopes he will be able to help her locate her mother.