CANBERRA family who adopted two children from India is still waiting
for an investigation into their case more than a year after
notifying Indian authorities.
Julia Rollings and her husband Barry adopted brother and sister Akil
and Sabila from Madras Social Service Guild orphanage in Chennai, in
They understood the children, then aged about two and three, arrived
at the orphanage in October 1996 after being relinquished for
adoption by their mother.
The Rollings family mounted a private investigation in India after
reading reports that one of the orphanage's staff was arrested on
charges of kidnapping.
In April 2006 they discovered Akil and Sabila's father had sold them
to child traffickers for 500rupees ($A50).
At least 30 children adopted from India by Australian families may
have been kidnapped and sold by child traffickers, according to Time
magazine. The investigation, published this weekend, reveals
kidnappers stole "pretty" children from poor neighbourhoods in
southern India and sold them to adoption agency Malaysian Social
Services for $A265 each.
The adoption agency and the orphanage are based in Chennai in the
Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Both had their inter-country adoption
licenses suspended in 1999 after revelations they were implicated in
child trafficking, but were later re-licensed.
In one case, a Queensland family recently learned that the girl they
adopted through the agency, who is now nine, was snatched from
outside her family home as a two-year-old.
"I feel a great deal of sympathy for the Indian families that have
been caught up in this drama and also for the Australian families,"
Ms Rollings said.
After learning the truth 18 months ago, the Rollings family tracked
down Akil and Sabila's birth mother and met her in India.
"We're now in a position thankfully that our kids feel very positive
about their reunion and the wonderful relationship that has
developed," Ms Rollings said.
The Rollings family are continuing to call for an investigation into
the case of their son and daughter.
"We want an investigation so our children can know for certain what
happened. And most importantly so their other mother can get
justice. She's the one who's lost the most in all this," Ms Rollings
India's Central Bureau of Intelligence insists birth families should
be allowed to see their children again in India.
But Ms Rollings said adoptive families would need assurances from
Australian and Indian authorities that their children would not be
taken from them.
"The families need to feel very confident there was no question of
the children being removed."
"There was no way my children would have come overseas unless they
felt completely confident they would be returning back home with
Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson said yesterday that if inquiries
revealed children had been kidnapped, there was a moral
responsibility to "do the right thing".
"And the right thing, we would expect in most cases, will be to look
at returning them to their rightful families."
Attorney-General Robert McClelland said it would be a matter for the
"Under Australian law, these children are Australian citizens and
the children of the adoptive parents. Under the Hague Convention,
birth parents may bring an action in an Australian Court to have the
adoption revoked. However, any decision would be a matter for the
courts, which would apply the principle of protecting the best
interests of the child."
He said the Government was treating the allegations seriously.