Copenhagen: Denmark on Monday suspended all adoptions from India after a news report claimed that some of the children who have been adopted in the Scandinavian country could have been abducted.
“I am concerned about the conditions that have surfaced,” said Carina Christensen, the consumer and family affairs minister.
Denmark temporarily suspended all adoptions from India “until we feel totally safe that the adoptions from India can be made in a reassuring way”. Christensen also ordered Danish authorities to investigate AC International Child Support, one of Denmark’s two government-approved adoption agencies.
The organization, known as AC, was accused in a DR1 television documentary of having received children from an orphange in Pune without the birth parents’ approval.
In the documentary, Ramesh Kulkarne claimed he temporarily placed his two children at Preet Mandir orphanage while looking for a job after his wife died. Kulkarne said for years he was barred from seeing his children at the orphanage. In April, he learned that the pair had been adopted in Denmark in 2003 through AC.
“If the Indian authorities’ investigation show that Ramesh Kulkarne wrongfully had his children taken away from him, it is a very tragic case and a big tragedy,” AC board chairman Anders Christensen said. “We expect the Indian authorities will pursue the case and find out whether a crime has been committed in connection with the legalization of the (adoption) documents,” he added.
AC said it had stopped cooperating with Preet Mandir in June 2003 after “repeated rumours about the agency’s management’s use of unethical methods”. Over the years, AC had found homes for 26 children from Preet Mandir.
The documentary showed the orphanage manager, J. Bhasin, filmed with a hidden camera, saying a child cost $7,000 (about Rs3 lakh).
“Children that are adopted to Denmark cannot be bought for money,” Christensen said. “That is in violation of international rules.”
DR1 said Indian authorities had earlier investigated child trafficking allegations against Preet Mandir. The broadcast did not indicate that DR1 had sought comment from India’s adoption authorities, the Central Adoption Resource Agency or from the orphanage. Attempts by AP to reach Preet Mandir and Cara failed.
In 2006, 514 children born abroad were adopted in Denmark, of whom 34 were born in India.