Adoption racket connects India, Australia
Posted online: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 0129 hrs
A Tamil Nadu racket under which children were abducted and then sold
for adoption is back in the news three years after it surfaced.
After a story in Time magazine about how some of these abducted
children may be in Australia, authorities from here to Queensland
are conducting a probe. A CBI investigation in 2005 had found that
many of the children adopted by foreign couples from the state were
kidnapped and sold to them. Touts would abduct the children and hand
them over to adoption agencies for anywhere between Rs 500 and
10,000. One such agency, Malaysian Social Service (MSS) in Chennai,
was believed to have sent 120 children for adoption to foreign
countries, including 13 to Australia alone.
Though government guidelines mandate a preference for in-country
adoptions, the focus was always on foster parents from abroad who
“donated” money to these agencies.
Interest has peaked in the case again since the Time report and
Australian media stories on Julia and Barry Rollings of Canberry,
the parents of eight children, who adopted a five-year-old boy and a
three-year-old girl from Chennai in 1998. After they heard of the
racket, the Rollings conducted a personal investigation of their own
into the children’s background and traced the biological mother of
one of them. Last year, they visited the family.
Sympathising with parents who may still be waiting for their
children, Julia has asked for a thorough investigation into the
case. “We want an investigation so our children can know for certain
what happened. And most importantly so their other mother can get
justice. She is the one who has lost the most in all of this,” she
was quoted as saying in the Australian media. Julia told The Indian
Express that they were planning to pay another visit to India soon.
The CBI has now sent letters to interview the authorities and the
foster parents in Queensland, while the Federal Government of
Queensland has also announced a probe of its own.
However, authorities here and in Australia acknowledge that bringing
any of the children back won’t be easy. Queensland Premier Anna
Bligh refuses to speculate on what will happen to the children. “I
think it’s far too early to be speculating about that and I think it
would be wrong of me given the very complex human issues at heart,”
Source - The Indian Express