A Madrid court has acquitted a former doctor of stealing newborn babies from their mothers and supplying them to infertile couples.
The court found gynaecologist Eduardo Vela, 85, had committed the crimes but charges were dropped because too much time had elapsed.
He is the first person to go on trial for illegal adoptions that took place during and after the fascist dictatorship of General Franco.
Thousands more cases are suspected.
The Vela case focused on Inés Madrigal, allegedly abuducted in 1969.
After Franco’s triumph in Spain’s 1936-1939 civil war, many children were removed from families identified by the fascist regime as Republicans and given to families considered more deserving.