Adoption controversy

Indian couple plans to force reunion with “trafficked” daughter

An Indian couple that’s claimed for years that their 2-year-old daughter Zabeen was snatched off the street in Chennai and trafficked to an orphanage, is hoping to force a reunion with her. Fatima and Salya have been allocated funds by non-government organization Against Child Trafficking to make the long journey to Australia.

The girl, now in her late teens, who was adopted by a family on the country’s east coast, told Fairfax Media she could not be sure the couple were her biological parents and was not interested in having any meeting as she goes through her stressful exam period.  She is also unsure whether the NGO can be trusted. Adoption laws prevent the family from being identified.

The NGO’s co-ordinator, Arun Dohle, reportedly tried to bring criminal charges against the adoptive parents in 2013. “He wrote to the Australian High Commission and said he wanted to see if criminal proceedings could be implemented so this all makes us very suspicious,” says the father.

Over the years, the Indian couple has taken legal action in the Indian courts, appealed for the adoption to be overturned and protested outside the Australian High Commission in Delhi. They plan to travel to Australia with their son Saddam, a social worker and Dohle.

This was after Chennai police, in the early 2000s, stumbled on a sophisticated child trafficking racket that kidnapped toddlers and babies or tricked parents into handing over the children for so-called local education programs. Fraudulent paperwork allowed the children to then be moved into the legitimate adoption process, via the Chennai-based Malaysian Social Services orphanage. After investigation of the orphanage’s files, local law enforcement claimed they were able to identify dozens of missing children who had been adopted to various countries, including the United States, Germany and Australia. Zabeen’s parents were among those contacted with the news that their children were alive and living thousands of miles away, ignorant of their origins. Fairfax reports DNA tests have yet to be undertaken to confirm Zabeen’s parentage.

Read the full story at the Sydney Morning Herald.

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