A British mother says she has had her newborn baby seized from her by a Spanish hospital, pending a DNA test that proves the child is hers.
Stacie Cottle, 27, was visiting her mother's villa at the tourist resort of Torre del Mar on the Costa del Sol when she gave birth to the little girl on 16 June.
Miss Cottle only went to Hospital Comarcal de la Axarquia, in nearby Velez-Malaga, for a check-up the next day. There had been no time to call an ambulance before the birth and mother and baby were healthy. But when she arrived staff were hostile, told her the baby could not be hers and called police.
They seized the baby - named Anzelika - because they claimed that she was too old to be a newborn. An invasive test showed that Miss Cottle, a dental nurse from East London, had recently given birth but doctors are insisting on a DNA test to prove maternity.
The pair have been at the hospital for two weeks now, and Miss Cottle claims that staff are feeding the baby formula milk against her will. Miss Cottle's three-year-old daughter is not allowed on to the ward and Anzelika is not allowed to leave.
To make matters worse, Anzelika will have to wait a year to become a British citizen when they do return to the UK, because Miss Cottle missed the 10-day deadline to register the birth.
A tearful Miss Cottle told the Olive News English language website: “I am treated like a criminal here, they think I stole my baby and everywhere I go in the hospital people are looking at me and talking about me."
She told the Daily Mail that she feared she was being treated with suspicion by hospital staff because of racism.
That is denied by the hospital, which told the Mail the baby was taken away on the orders of a paediatrician. They source said they had "no idea" how long the DNA test would take.
Local police, social services and courts reportedly declined to comment.Reuse content