Concern over ‘trafficking’ of children in the name of adoption

Demanding that international adoption be stopped from India till comprehensive laws are put in place to prevent ‘trafficking’ of children in the name of adoption, parents of children who were fraudulently or forcefully taken away and put into inter-country adoption held a meeting in the Capital on Tuesday demanding urgent Government intervention in the matter.

Speaking about her daughter who went missing in 2009 from Chennai, Fatima said: “My child was picked up from near my house and after the police investigation we found that the child had been given up for adoption to an Australian family. There has been no co-operation from the Australian Government or the adoptive parents and we have been able to speak with our daughter only once so far. I appeal to the Indian Government to help get my child back.’’

Also asking for help to recover her child, Fatima from Andhra Pradesh said: “I was divorced and working as a domestic help when I was taken to St. Theresa’s Tender Loving Care Home (an adoption agency in Hyderabad) for my delivery. After delivery the agency demanded Rs.10,000 for there services. This was way back in 1990 and I did not have the money to clear my medical dues and other expenses. When I could not pay the entire amount they forcefully took my child and now I have been informed that my child was adopted in 1991 and is in Germany. I haven’t surrendered or given up my child so why has my child been taken away from me? I hope the Government wakes up to this and takes note of the parents whose children have gone missing.’’

Stating that it is important to let the national and international community know about the woes of these parents and how children are often trafficked for adoption, child rights activist Bharti Ali of HAQ-Centre for Child Rights said: “Now when government officials and adoption agencies in Indian and other countries have all gathered in the city to promote mutual co-operation on inter-country adoption and to discuss various aspects and challenges on the subject, it is important that these issues be brought to the forefront.’’

“The stories of trafficking of children for and through adoption are not unknown. Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) claims to have better regulations of inter-country adoption through the new 2011 adoption guideline but it holds back information on a number of children awaiting adoption and number of Indian parents waiting to adopt. It treats NRI adoptions as domestic adoptions but gets the NRI adoptive parents to pay the same fee as that charged from foreign adoptive parents. Worse voices raised against the existing system are met with legal cases filed against those who raise them,’’ she added.

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