Brittiska BBC rapporterar om adoptionerna från Sri Lanka till västvärlden: Närmare 3500 barn har genom årtiondena adopterats från Sri Lanka till Sverige och ett stort antal av dem misstänks ha adopterats hit på illegala och korrupta grunder av bl a svenska expat-damer som bodde på Sri Lanka och vilka förmedlade adoptioner till Sverige liksom av de svenska adoptionsorganisationerna Adoptionscentrum och Sri Lanka Barnens Vänner.
När korruptionen inom adoptionsverksamheten på Sri Lanka avslöjades på 1980-talet blev åtminstone en av de svenska expat-damerna utvisad ur landet. 1000-tals av de adopterade från Sri Lanka som idag bor och lever i västvärlden i länder som Nederländerna, Storbritannien, Sverige, Belgien, Norge, Schweiz, Danmark och Tyskland har med all sannolikhet fått sina ursprungsidentiteter raderade för alltid och deras bakgrundshistorier till varför de blev adopterade är med stor säkerhet manipulerade och påhittade för att dölja brotten och människohandeln. Det innebär att de aldrig kommer att kunna återknyta banden till och hitta sina förstamödrar och förstafamiljer på Sri Lanka samt att många av dem tror att de har övergivits av förstamödrar som i adoptionsdokumenten beskrivs som oansvariga eller promiskuösa kvinnor som inte förtjänade att någonsin få bli föräldrar.
”Thousands of Sri Lankan babies were put up for adoption between the 1960s and 1980s – some of them sold by ”baby farms” to prospective parents across Europe. The Netherlands, which accepted many of those infants, has recently suspended international adoptions following historical allegations of coercion and bribery. As that investigation unfolds, families who never stopped thinking about the children who vanished hope they will be reunited.”
“Up to 11,000 children may have been sold to European families, with both parties being given fake documents. About 4,000 children are thought to have ended up with families in the Netherlands, with others going to other European countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the UK.”
“Tharidi Fonseka, who has researched the adoptions for more than 15 years, says there were indications some influential and powerful people might have cashed in on the predicaments of desperate women. Hospital workers, lawyers and probation officers all profited, according to Andrew Silva, a tourist guide in Sri Lanka who has helped reunite about 165 adopted children with their biological mothers.
He started to help people in 2000 after a Dutch national donated some kits to the football team he played for. They became friends and the Dutch man asked Andrew whether he could help some of his friends in the Netherlands find their birth mothers. Since then, Andrew has also been approached by Sri Lankan mothers.
”I heard from some mothers that certain hospital workers were involved in selling those babies,” he says.
”They were looking for vulnerable, young mothers and offered their ‘help’ to find a better home for their babies. ”Some mothers told me that some lawyers and court officials kept babies in certain places until one of them could act as a magistrate to issue the adoption orders.”
The idea that influential people were involved in the adoption ring is not uncommon in these women’s stories. When Kariyapperuma Athukorale Don Sumithra became pregnant with her third child in 1981, she and her husband knew they could not keep her and turned to a local pastor in Colombo.
She says he arranged the adoption of their baby, who was born in November, and gave them 50,000 Sri Lankan rupees (approximately $2,600 at the time). But they were not given any documents. ”We didn’t have anywhere to live and no particular income. Together we decided to give our daughter away, she was about two or three weeks old,” says Sumithra.
”When I asked the pastor he always said, ‘don’t worry, your child is fine,’ but I don’t know anything about her.”
Sumithra had another son afterwards but says thinking about her daughter causes her constant pain. The 65-year-old, who lives in Kaduwela, desperately wants to find her child, but she lost the only photos she had of her in a flood and she no longer has contact details for the pastor.
”My second daughter tells me, ‘Let’s go and find that pastor’. My only request is please help me find my daughter.”
Andrew Silva has tried to help Sumithra, but so far his efforts have failed. He says his search is often hampered by the fact women were given forged documents and false details. The adopted children often find it just as hard to trace their biological families and even if they are successful, the outcome can be heartbreaking.”