Swedish authorities failed to ensure compliance with rules. Now an independent investigation and government grants are required for adopted people who want to search for their roots.
Due to recent reporting in international and Swedish media such as Sweden’s Television concerning unethical adoptions from Chile and Sri Lanka to Sweden, we set aside from India the question: What is happening now?
Over the years, among the adopted and our first families, that is, our Indian families, there have been irregularities associated with the adoptions. Organizations that have had a pronounced purpose and mission to meet the best interests of children have in many cases become part of the fact that unethical adoptions have been implemented.
Today there are about 6700 people adopted from Sweden. Even among us, over the years, irregularities have been discovered in connection with our adoptions. It is about how our adoptions have gone and under what circumstances we were separated from our first families.
At first sight, our adoptions seem to have been entitled. The adoption documents have official stamps and related court decisions and are signed by government officials. However, many sources have later testified that these documents were created on false premises.
Of what has emerged from child rights organizations such as Against Child trafficking and stories from adopted and first-family families, a pattern has been identified. Many of those adopted from India to Sweden come from state-funded children’s homes where they were registered as children of birth.
In retrospect, however, it has been found that the majority, in fact, were lost or stolen. Very few attempts, if any, have been made by Indian authorities to track their families. In some cases, Indian actors have made use of loopholes in-laws to make children available for adoption, while the Swedish authorities failed to ensure compliance with the guidelines and rules.
It has also proved to be a big challenge to get the papers that documented our adoptions from the Swedish side. Some adopted have been refused from, among other things, the Adoption Center, the National and National Archives, the National Board of Social Affairs, and the decision-making authorities when they requested documents regarding their adoptions.
Meeting with opposition from authorities and adoption organizations about issues of legitimacy of one’s adoption results in the adoption of adopted ones trying to find their origin. This originates the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that all children are entitled to.
Hereby we raise our voices for those whose adoptions are veiled in a bunch of doubts, lies, and direct mistakes. For those who have never found out, but wish to know if their adoptions may have taken place on unethical grounds.
We are many indigenous people and adopted from other countries, who have similar experiences. This, in turn, shows that there are no single adoptions. Against this background, we stand behind the call, requesting an independent investigation to investigate all international adoptions implemented in Sweden.
We require that an independent inquiry is made of all international adoptions to find out if they have been carried out for an unethical reason. We also believe that the Swedish state should compensate affected persons in the form of an official apology and compensation. We also want it to be possible for adopted to receive contributions from the Swedish state to search for their roots.
Co-author: Victoria Holmgren (spokesman), Emma-Noora Ullasdotter, and Jyothi Bousle Svahn.