Child trafficking cases

This archive contains child trafficking cases for the purpose of inter-country adoption.

To make this list as complete as possible we can use your help. If you know of cases not covered, or know of articles not listed with the cases, please subscribe to this groups and help maintain this section of the website or send links and articles to this mail address.

A map showing the locations where the child trafficking cases took place can be found here.

Argentina - Children stolen during the Civil War case


Hundreds of children were stolen from dissidents and placed with military families and others - some internationally - during the Military junta of the 1970's and 1980's.
Date: 1990-01-01
Number of children: 500

Location

Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Province
Argentina

Brazil - misc trafficking cases

misc child trafficking articles
Date: 1980-01-01
Number of children:

Location

Itajai, Santa Catarina
Brazil

Brazil - Arlete Hilu case

Arlete Hilu was arrested in 1986 for child trafficking for adoption, served her time, and resumed trafficking again when released. She was arrested again in 1992
Date: 1982-01-01
Number of children: 1000

Facilitators

Persons: Arlete Hilu

Location

Curitiba, Parana
Brazil

Brazil - Judge Luiz Beethoven Giffoni Ferreira case

From 1992 to 1998, Judge Beethoven  in Jundiai, Brazil presided over 200+ international adoptions. At least 90 families in a group called Mothers of the Courthouse Plaza claim their children were taken against their will.
Date: 1992-01-01
Number of children: 200

Orphanages

Organizations: Jundiaí Children's Orientation Center (COMEJ)

Agencies

Organizations: LIMIAR USA, Inc, More unnamed agencies

Location

Jundiai, Sao Paulo
Brazil

Bulgaria - child trafficking case "Affaire bébés bulgares"

56 people went on trial accused of being part of a network that brought pregnant women from Bulgaria to France - and sold their babies to childless couples.

The babies' mothers were promised large sums of money by leaders of the network to come to France, give birth and hand their babies over to other couples. Usually they only received a tiny fraction of the money, and prosecutors say the network often forced them to become prostitutes or beggars after giving birth.

The trial of trafficking in human beings ended with the verdict of the court in Bobigny. Bulgarian providers and French parents in need of children will spend up to six years behind bars. Some other intermediaries were sentenced to lesser penalties.
Date: 2007-01-22
Number of children:

Facilitators

Persons: Tinka Georgieva and husband Gancho Georgiev, Henri Salva, Dimitar Georgiev and wife Georgieva, Ginka Stoyanova, Français Abdel Basset Galoul, Zapryanka Nikolova

Location

Bulgaria

Bulgaria - misc. child trafficking cases

Markets for Bulgarian babies and other Balkan countries have been located in France, Greece, Italy and England.

See also:

Bulgaria - child trafficking case "Affaire bébés bulgares"

Date: 2006-07-01
Number of children:

Location

Bulgaria

Cambodia - Camryn Mosley (Songkea) case

9 year old girl living with her older brother, sister and brother-in-law was solicited for adoption. Her paperwork was altered to say she lived in an orphanage for 4 years and had no family.
Date: 1999-08-01
Number of children: 1

Orphanages

Organizations: Siem Riep or Siem Reap orphanage, but Camryn never lived in this orphanage

Agencies

Persons: Lynn Devin

Facilitators

Location

Siem Reip, Siemreap
Cambodia

Cambodia - Main Dim's son aka Sam

Main Dim placed her month old son with Chea Kim to be taken to an orphanage for temporary care. She believed she would get him back when her situation improved. He was adopted without her knowledge.
Date: 2004-03-07
Number of children: 1

Facilitators

Location

Laing Kout, Kampong Cham
Cambodia

Cambodia - Sea Visoth / Khmer American Orphans Association case

Sea Visoth Sea Visoth
Chanthea Chea was solicited to give up her baby, she allowed him to be taken for a medical exam, but he was not returned, and she was coerced into signing papers to relinquish him to an orphanage, but not for adoption. The next day she tried to re-take custody of her child, and was denied. The child was found in custody of KAOA with false paperwork, and was in the final stages of being issued an adoption visa.

2 more women were were solicited to surrender their children to an "organization for widows and orphans". All 3 women were given passport style photos when they asked for information about their children. Courts awarded custody of the children to the mothers.
Date: 2001-12-07
Number of children: 3

Agencies

Organizations: A New Arrival

Facilitators

Persons: Sea Visoth

Location

Phnom Pehn
Cambodia

Cambodia - Serey Puth - Asian Orphans Association (AOA)

Serey Puth ran Asian Orphans Association orphanage as well as several 'clinics'. He claimed the children in his orphanage were 'abandoned' in local villages.  However, several mothers accused the organization of offering them money for their children,  taking their babies, and/or refusing to return their children after temporary care. After a raid, some children were determined to belong to local women and were returned.
Date: 2001-09-14
Number of children:

Location

Kok Prich, Phnom Penh
Cambodia

Cambodia - Srey Lieu and Srey Mom, Kim Sophoan's daughters

In 1997, Kim Sophoan, a widow, visited Phnom Penh with her 2 daughters Srey Lieu and Srey Mon, then aged 9 and 12. Her 'friend' Chhim Naly convinced her to leave the two girls with her so that they could go to school. Normally, Sophoan had to leave her children alone while she worked. No paperwork was signed. Ten days later, Kim Sophoan returned to Phnom Penh and learned her daughters had been adopted by a US family. Their names had been changed on the Cambodian paperwork.

Date: 1997-01-01
Number of children: 2

Orphanages

Persons: Chhim Naly

Agencies

Persons: Lynn Devin

Facilitators

Location

Cham Chao, Phnom Penh
Cambodia

Central African Republic - Oscar and Marlène - "Rayon de Soleil" case

In 2003, a couple in France adopted Oscar and Marlène, aged 5 and 2,  from Central African Republic. The adoptive parents were told by the association, Rayon de Soleil de l'enfant étranger, that their mother was dead and their father disappeared.   It turns out that they were 10 and 5 years old, and they had living parents and five siblings. The children were told they would study in France and would go back to Africa.

11 other children were adopted from Central African Republic at the same time than Oscar and Marlène without parental consent. Among them, only two had no parent.
Date: 2005-08-04
Number of children: 13

Location

Bangui
Central African Republic

Chile - misc child trafficking articles case

Misc trafficking article including Today's Adoption Agency
Date: 1990-01-01
Number of children:

Agencies

Location

Santiago
Chile

China - misc trafficking articles

China has extensive child trafficking problems. Young children are stolen, boys often for heirs, and girls for daughter in laws or adoption. Older children can end up as laborers or in the sex trade. Young children are sold for $3-4,000. Police do not often investigate, even when there is video evidence of the abduction.
At least two orphanages admit they buy children and claim it is legal. It is reasonable to assume that there are more orphanages buying children from the trafficking networks.
Babies are trafficked from Myanmar to China for adoption.

See also: Cambodian and Vietnamese infants trafficked to China
Date: 1999-01-01
Number of children:

Orphanages

Persons: Ms. Jie gatekeeper at Changde SWI, Hunan, Mr. Zhou deputy director at Fuzhou SWI, Jiangxi, Director Shi of an orphanage in Anhui's Dangshan County

Facilitators

Organizations: Dong Liangmao

Location

Fuzhou, Jiangxi
China

China - Chen Qifu case

Chen Qifu and his extended family, are accused of stealing primarily male children from Guizhou province and selling them for up to $1,200 each to families in the relatively affluent Guangdong province. Boys for family heirs and girls as brides. Possibly also to orphanages for international adoption.
Date: 1995-01-01
Number of children:

Facilitators

Persons: Chen Qifu

Location

Guiyang, Guizhou
China

China - Family Planning in Gaoping county Hunan Province case

Children seized by family planning in Gaoping County, Hunan province and placed for adoption with falsified records.
Date: 2010-06-25
Number of children:

Location

Huangxin village near Shaoyang, Hunan
China

China - Family Planning in Longhui County Hunan Province case

Children seized by family planning in Longhui County, Hunan province and placed for adoption in exchange for money.
Date: 2011-05-10
Number of children:

Location

Shaoyang, Hunan
China

China - Family Planning in Zhenyuan county Guizhou province case


1980's poster advertising China's one-child policy 

In 2003 after Social Welfare Institute in Zhenyuan County, Guizhou Province was approved for international adoption, the local family planning officials stopped seizing livestock from poor families and began seizing children.

At least 80 children, mainly baby girls, were taken from their family when the parents were unable to pay the 'tax' due on excess children. The children were placed in the local SWI and adopted internationally. The orphanage claimed all the children they placed internationally were 'abandoned'. Apparently the local orphanage and family planning officials split the orphanage donation.
Date: 2009-07-01
Number of children: 80

Orphanages

Facilitators

Persons: former Party secretary Pan Jianguo, former town director Wu Changqing, vice director Tian Rongbao, , and former assistant director Wang Daohua of Jiaoxi Town in Zhenyuan County, Guizhou Province. , Family planning officials: Shi Guangying and Wang Daohua

Location

Wuyang Town, Zhenyuan County, Guizhou
China

China - Hunan Child trafficking case

Hunan China statistics  (left) Placements for International Adoption soared between 2001 and 2005, then dropped after the ring was exposed. (Statistics from Research China)

In the Hunan province of China a ring of child traffickers was arrested late 2005 - early 2006. Children were bought in Guangdong province and sold to orphanages in Hunan province. Eventually, ten people were convicted.
Date: 2005-11-17
Number of children: 100

Agencies

Organizations: Great Wall China Adoption (GWCA), other unknown agencies

Facilitators

Location

Hengyang, Hunan
China

Costa Rica - misc trafficking cases

General articles on child trafficking for adoption
See also Guatemala / Costa Rica case
Date: 1957-01-27
Number of children:

Facilitators

Organizations: San Raphael de Alajujela hospital, Social worker and lawyer

Location

San Jose, San Jose
Costa Rica

Egypt - misc child trafficking

Miscellaneous articles from Egypt of child trafficking for adoption. Both domestically (within Egypt) and internationally
Date: 2009-01-01
Number of children:

Orphanages

Organizations: a Coptic Christian orphanage

Facilitators

Persons: Doctors and Nurses at a Cairo Hospital

Location

Cairo
Egypt

El Salvador - misc trafficking cases

Misc adoption trafficking articles
Date: 1989-01-01
Number of children:

Location

El Salvador

El Salvador - Attorney Roberto del Cid or Roberto del Cid Aguirre case

Salvadoran Lawyer who handled about half of annual El Salvador to US adoptions, forged addresses on documents. Some of the children were likely bought or stolen from families. Many or most were placed through Suzanne Champney's Los Ninos del Amor, Inc in Massachusetts
Date: 1989-06-26
Number of children: 200

Location

San Salvador, San Salvador
El Salvador

El Salvador - Attorney Roberto Parada and his wife Ilkea case

The Paradas and at least one female associate have engaged in the illegal purchase of children for the purpose of arranging their overseas adoption.
See Lya Sorano's Guatemala problems
Date: 1987-12-01
Number of children: 13

Facilitators

Persons: Roberto Parada, Ilkea Parada, Ilkea Parada's maid

Location

San Salvador, San Salvador
El Salvador

El Salvador - Children stolen during Civil War case

At least 787 children were stolen from families during the civil war. Some were sent to orphanages, where they were adopted internationally (US and other countries). Some were adopted by military families within El Salvador.The war lasted from 1979 to 1991. See these individual cases as well:

Imelda Auron and Maria Cebollero case
Imelda Lopez Lainez (Gina Marie Craig) case
Suzanne Marie Berghaus (Maria Sáenz Argueta) case
Jane Weideman Viasana case
Peter Cassidy (Ernesto Sibrian) case
El Salvador - Michael Kennedy (Jose Oliva) and his 3 sisters
Date: 1979-01-01
Number of children: 787

Orphanages

Agencies

Organizations: Concern for Children

Location

San Salvador
El Salvador

El Salvador - Imelda Auron and Maria Cebollero case

Imelda and Maria's parents were murdered for being dissidents. Imelda,7 and Maria, 3, where adopted by 2 families in Boston and Long Island. The girls were in sporadic contact over the years.
Date: 2005-01-01
Number of children: 2

Location

San Salvador
El Salvador

El Salvador - Imelda Lopez Lainez (Gina Marie Craig) case

Girl stolen from a field hospital in the civil war is located by her birth family.
Date: 1994-06-15
Number of children: 1

Orphanages

Agencies

Organizations: Concern for Children

Facilitators

Persons: Yolanda Myers de Vasquez, judge

Location

Usulutan
El Salvador

El Salvador - Michael Kennedy (Jose Oliva) and his 3 sisters case

Tomas Oliva (father)
Micheal and his 3 sisters where plucked from the battlefield in placed in 4 separate adoptive homes, 1 in El Salvador, 2 in the US, and 1 in Switzerland.
Date: 1981-01-01
Number of children: 4

Location

Chalatenango, Chalatenango
El Salvador

El Salvador - Peter Cassidy (Ernesto Sibrian) case

Peter, then 2, and his sister 6, were escaping from a guerrilla attack with their mother, when she was shot dead. Peter was injured, and so separated from his sister and taken to a hospital. When he recovered, he was placed for adoption without attempt to find his sister, grandparents, or other family.
Date: 1984-08-28
Number of children: 1

Orphanages

Organizations: a Chalatenango hospital

Location

Guarjila, Chalatenango
El Salvador

El Salvador - Rosa Alicia Campos Mancia's 3 children - Jane Weideman Viasana case

Rosa Alicia Campos Mancia was separated from 3 children during the war. Jane (Mercedes Abelina Flores)  was adopted by a US family. A son was adopted in El Salvador, a daughter was by a Spanish family and is not located yet.
Date: 1982-11-16
Number of children: 3

Orphanages

Agencies

Organizations: Concern for Children

Location

San Salvador
El Salvador

Ethiopia - misc child trafficking cases

Ethiopia, misc child trafficking and falsified documentation
Date: 2009-01-01
Number of children:

Orphanages

Organizations: Koala House

Facilitators

Location

Addis Ababa, Addis Abeba
Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Better Future Adoption Services case

Three children, Feven, Meskerem and Bethelem, were adopted through Better Future Adoption Services. While their parents were alive, they were allegedly declare foundlings and given different last names.
Date: 2010-08-18
Number of children:

Agencies

Location

Shashemene, Oromia
Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Eskedar Tsegaye

Genet Reshid Hassen, Eskedar's mother, while her husband was seriously ill, was promised her child was sent to the United States for three years. Instead she was being adopted by an Austrian family.
Date: 2004-04-30
Number of children:

Orphanages

Persons: Hana Berhanu

Agencies

Organizations: Family for You

Location

Adis Abeba, Addis Abeba
Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Eyob Mesfin Gebremichael

Alemitu Assefa, Eyob's mother, while being seriously ill, was promised her child was sent to the United States for three years. Instead he was being adopted by an Austrian family who were led to believe his mother had died.
Date: 2004-04-30
Number of children: 1

Orphanages

Persons: Hana Berhanu

Agencies

Organizations: Family for You

Location

Adis Abeba, Addis Abeba
Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Haregwain Berhane case

Two children made claims about family being alive after being adopted by Canadian families. Upon investigations these allegations turned out to be true, while the official papers said no living relatives existed.
Date: 2009-03-18
Number of children: 2

Facilitators

Location

Addis Ababa, Addis Abeba
Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Johnson siblings

In May 2009, Pam & Juan Johnson adopted 3 bio siblings in Ethiopia aged 11, 8 and 7 at the time. The siblings believed they were in the US for an education, and did not understand adoption severed ties with their mother. They expected to be able to regularly call and visit their mother in Ethiopia.

In 2006, Johnsons adopted 3 other Ethiopia bio siblings under the belief that the children would be leaving the orphanage for the streets. Turns out the siblings had wealthy extended families.

Both sets of Ethiopia siblings were adopted using Christian World Adoption.
Date: 2009-05-01
Number of children: 6

Agencies

Location

Addis Ababa, Addis Abeba
Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Joshua Dawit case

1 -year-old boy adopted from Ethiopia by Sandi Siemens of whom there exist no adoption records in Ethiopia.
Date: 2006-12-01
Number of children: 1

Location

Addis Ababa, Addis Abeba
Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Journee, Meya, and Maree Bradshaw

Three sisters aged 13, 11, 6 are solicited for adoption by CWA. They believe they are coming to the USA on an education program and that they will return to Ethiopia.

The adoptive parents were told the girls were 7, 6, and 4 with a dead mother, a dying father, and no one to care for them. Their father was alive and healthy, with middle-class income, and the girls had 3 older sisters, and older brother and  extended family who also cared for them.

The girls father received money for placing them for adoption.

Journee Bradshaw's adoption ended in disruption, and later she changed her name back to Tarikuwa Lemma.
Date: 2010-02-15
Number of children: 3

Agencies

Location

Addis Ababa, Addis Abeba
Ethiopia

Georgia - misc. child trafficking cases

Date: 2009-05-08
Number of children:

Location

T'bilisi
Georgia

Ghana - misc child trafficking cases

Ghana
Date: 2010-06-22
Number of children:

Location

Accra, Greater Accra Region
Ghana

Greece - child trafficking case

Child trafficking in Greece, including the adoption trafficking that occurred after the civil war in 1946-49 up through the current times.
Date: 1989-01-01
Number of children: 2000

Agencies

Location

Patras
Greece

Guatemala - more trafficking articles and stolen children cases

      
One in every 100 Guatemalan children is adopted by an American family, the highest per capita adoption rate in the world, and 95 percent of all Guatemalan children who are adopted go to the U.S. The U.S. State Department says approximately 29,400 Guatemalan children have been adopted by Americans since 1990.


Photo of possibly stolen children from a raid July 18, 2007
Date: 1979-01-01
Number of children:

Facilitators

Persons: Jorge Mario Sum Santiago (Jorge Sun), Alfonso Cacacho Ralda, Luis Roberto Aragón Hernández, Onelia Estrada Cordón, Susana Luarca (aka Susana de Umana aka Susana Maria Luarca Saracho de Umaña), Ruth Emilsa Alvarado Espana, Lucinda Bautiza (aka Lucinda Bautista), Elia Berdúo Samayoa (judge), Héctor Conrado Valdez, Roxana Marisol Mazariegos López, Milagro Del Carpio (aka Marcia del Carpio), Athanasios Kollias (Teo), Martha Marilú Martínez Escobar aka Marta, Oscar Portillo (aka Oscar Rene Portillo-Donis), Blanca Martinez (aka Blanca Eugenia Martinez Luna de Arce or Rosalina Garcia or Luz Maria Guerra), Monica Janeth Ruiz González de Castañeda, Rosa Claudia Juárez, Dora Zavala (aka Dora Amanda Zavala Navas), Gamaliel Sentes Luna, Aurora González Campo Menes, Lilian Ferrer de Letona, Ruth Emilsa Alvarado Espana, Susana Duarte (aka Susana Duarte González), Mireya de Gonzalez (lawyer), Lucila Hernández Oscal, Sandra Gonzalez, Clifford Phillips

Location

Guatemala, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - Álvaro Daniel Suruy son of María Suruy case

Alvaro Daniel Suruy, newborn, was stolen from his mother Maria Suruy on January 21. 2008 in Guatemala city. Maria had been offered a job by Rosalinda Rivera. Thought to be stolen by Rosalinda Rivera, but was not at the crib house at the raid. - Status unknown, probably adopted abroad. Born Jan 08
Date: 2008-01-21
Number of children: 1

Facilitators

Location

Guatemala, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - Angelyn Lisseth Hernández Rodríguez (aka Dulce Maria or Karen Abigail) daughter of Loira Rodríguez case

 Angelyn Lisseth Hernández Rodríguez (aka Angielyn Lisset Hernández or Angelina) kidnapped Nov 3 2006 and probably in the US with adoptive parents under the name Dulce Maria or Karen Abigail. She is believed to be the child adopted by Timothy and Jennifer Monahan of Missouri.
Date: 2006-11-03
Number of children: 1

Agencies

Location

San Miguel Petapa, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - Arlene Escarleth (aka Cindy) daughter of Olga Lopez case

 
Olga Lopez's daughter Arlene Escarleth disappeared on September 27, 2006 when she was 1 month old. Believed to be adopted abroad. Olga recognized her daughter's picture, and according to Survivors Foundation, they know the US location of the girl and have requested DNA tests. See quote  possibly under the name Cindy Colwell or Cindy Thomas

There is now a reward of 40,000Q, for information about Arlene Escarleth Lopez
Date: 2006-09-27
Number of children: 1

Location

Guatemala, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - Athanasios Kollias case (aka Thanassis or Teo) case

  Athanasios Kollias banned by the US Embassy  in 2005 from processing adoptions is still facilitating, including placing children who were stolen from their families. Kollias has several aliases Athanase Thomas Collias, Athanasis Thomas, Thomas Collias, as well as Thanassis and Teo.
See Also - Candida, Claudia, Enma Galacia case
Date: 2008-01-20
Number of children:

Facilitators

Location

Guatemala City, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - Candida, Claudia, Enma Galacia case

Three sisters stolen from their family, were split up, provided with fake birth certificates listing new names and younger ages. Two of the girls (Candida, Claudia) were located and reunited prior to adoption. The third girl Enma is still missing, probably adopted abroad. She would have been 8 in Dec 07, but would have been likely stated to be 4 to 6 years old.
Date: 2008-01-20
Number of children: 3

Agencies

Organizations: Adoption Blessings Worldwide, Inc., for Candida aka Angie, Unknown agency for for Claudia, Unknown agency for for Enma
Persons: Tedi Hedstrom

Location

Jalapa, Jalapa
Guatemala

Pound Pup Legacy