Child trafficking cases

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

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

Guatemala - Casa Quivira case


A probe of Casa Quivira, where 46 children in the process of being adopted by U.S. families were seized in a government raid, turned up a slew of irregularities, including at least five cases in which birth mothers were allegedly given false identities to avoid having to seek permission from family members and a judge to give up their babies.Eighteen other mothers could not be found under the identities that case files provided.

Date: 2007-08-11
Number of children: 23

Orphanages

Organizations: Casa Quivira

Agencies

Organizations: Casa Quivira

Location

Antigua
Guatemala

Guatemala - Children stolen during the Civil War case

Many children of villagers disappeared during the 36 year Civil War. Some were adopted within Guatemala, at least one child, a girl adopted in 1982, was adopted by a US family. At least 2 children from the massacre at Dos Erres in 1982 were raised by Guatemalan soldiers.
Date: 1996-01-01
Number of children:

Location

guatemala, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - Esther Sulamita daughter of Ana Escobar case

  

Ana Escobar's case was the first that unequivocally proved a stolen child was put up for adoption. March 26, 2007, Escobar reported her daughter stolen day. July 23, 2008, DNA tests identified the toddler, living with a US couple, about to be adopted. Charges were dropped against Feliciano Hernandez, the doctor who falsified the birth certificate, and Otto Galvez, the lawyer representing the adoptive parents.
Date: 2007-03-26
Number of children: 1

Agencies

Location

Guatemala City, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - Gerson Canté son of Luz Maribel Hernández Canté case

Gerson Cante was stolen from his mother Luz Maribel Hernández Canté, false paperwork was created. He was adopted and left Guatemala in Jan 2008. Facilitators listed are individuals and organizations in Guatemala who played a role.
Date: 2008-01-21
Number of children: 1

Location

Guatemala, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - Heidy or Heidi Saraí Batz (aka Kimberly), daughter of Raquel Par case

Raquel Par was traveling with her 1 year old daughter was drugged, and woke to find her daughter missing. The girl is believed adopted by US family in 2006.

There is now a reward of 40,000Q, for information about Heidy Sarai Batz
Date: 2006-04-06
Number of children: 1

Location

Bolivar Avenue,Villa Hermosa neighborhood, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - Jonathan Martínez Sol (aka Luis Pablo Pérez), son of Thelma Christina and Juan Carlos Martínez case

 Jonathan reunited with his parents
Jonathan Martínez Sol (40 days old)  was taken from his mother Thelma Cristina Sol Matías (Telma Sol) at gunpoint. He was found 27 days later at Módulos Maternos with a new birth certificate naming him Luis Pablo Pérez. Paperwork had begun for him to be adopted. Attorney Ana María Barrutia, director Mónica Contreras Barrutia, Mayra Lizette Cifuentes Gonon, and Clara Esperanza Pérez were charged in connection with the case.
Date: 2007-06-20
Number of children: 1

Location

Mixco, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - Kimberly Xiomara Pineda Albizurez (or Siomara Arbizurez) case

3 year old Kimberly was stolen for international adoption to a couple in Spain. She was recovered and returned to her family, however in July 2001, the lawyer representing the family received death threats, and Kimberly's two uncles were assassinated.
Date: 2001-01-09
Number of children: 1

Facilitators

Persons: Alfonso Cacacho Ralda, Jorge de Jesús Jiménez García, Jaime Valenzuela (aka Jaime Valenzuela Sacher), Francisco Calderon Munoz (kidnapper), Zoila de Jesus Hernandez (childcare provider), Catalina Franco (social worker in GT)

Location

San Jose Pinula, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - lawyer Juan Varela aka "nino bandito" "baby bandit" case

Juan Varela is connected to a UK family via Lya Sorana who is banned from adoptions in GA and FL, and practicing without a license in SC. There were discrepancies in the boy's paperwork, and the UK family left Guatemala without the child. See also Lya Sorano's previous trafficking in El Salvador with Children's Service's International
Date: 1996-01-01
Number of children:

Location

Guatemala City, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - Manuel de Jesus son of Marta Lidia Barrientos

Marta Lidia Barrientos was told her son died during her c-section. Three months later she was asked to sign documents to approve the adoption. She refused and her son was finally returned to her at 12 months old.
Date: 2006-10-02
Number of children: 1

Location

guatemala, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - Maria Fernanda and Ana Christina Alvarado case

Mildred had been tricked while pregnant with Ana, she was given an early c-section by the trafficking ring, when she awoke, both girls were gone.

A US potential adoptive parent ("Cindy") identified Mildred's name in a newspaper as being the parent of a child she was in process of adopting. She questioned CCI, who then withdrew the referral. Cindy then notified the US Embassy to check on the cases of facilitator Marvin Bran and CCI. The children were located and returned to their mother - they had been stolen by a ring headed by Marvin Bran's mother.
Date: 2006-08-01
Number of children: 2

Orphanages

Organizations: Amor de María crib house

Location

Mixco, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - Marlen Sofia Diaz Borrayo, daughter of Iris Xiomera Borrayo



In October 1997, Iris left her child with a neighbor while she went to the hospital for a period of time. When she returned, she found her daughter had been taken by the neighbor to the minor's court. On Feb 13, 1998, Judge Aida Marisuya de De Leon ruled the child was abandoned and placed Marlen in Susana Luarca's "Los Ninos de Guatemala" orphanage. The orphanage immediately referred Marlen for placement with a US adoptive family. After several court battles, Marlen was returned to Iris on .Feb 17,1999, 9 months after the order for her return, and over a year after she was taken.
Date: 1998-02-13
Number of children: 1

Location

Chimaltenango, Chimaltenango
Guatemala

Guatemala - Pablo son of Elivia Ramírez Caño

Elivia Ramírez Caño's son was stolen moments after his birth August 13, 1997, in a Guatemala City hospital. The nurses took him away, saying he had been adopted.
Date: 1997-08-13
Number of children: 1

Location

San Pedro Yepocapa, Chimaltenango
Guatemala

Guatemala - Ricardo Borz (Osmin Ricardo Tobar Ramirez) and Jeffrey (Jeffrey Rainiery Arias Ramírez)



In 1997, 6 year old Osmín Ricardo Amílcar Tobar Ramírez and his infant half-brother Jeffrey Rainiery Arias Ramírez were removed from their mother's home due to allegations of  abuse made by an associate of an adoption attorney. There was no formal investigation of whether there was abuse, and the children were placed in the adoption attorney's orphanage (Asociacion los Ninos de Guatemala).

Ricardo and Jeffery's mother, Flor de Maria Ramirez, denied that she was ever abusive or neglectful, and she fought for custody of the boys. Ricardo's father, Gustavo Amilcar Tobar Fajardo, was not notified that the boys were removed from the home.

Nonetheless, the adoption attorney  Susana Luarca, (who also owned the orphanage), and judge, Aida Marizuya Rabasso, who worked regularly together, deprived Flor of custody, refused to place the boys with other willing family members, and found new, separate US adoptive homes for both boys.

When Ricardo's father learned the boys had been removed from the home and adopted, he began a fight to regain custody. After Gustavo complained that Susana Luarca had placed his son illegally, he was attacked by two men with machetes who cut him on his hands, arms, and face. The men said he should stop talking.

To this day, Gustavo Tobar is working with Casa Alianza to have the adoption reversed. Ricardo was adopted by a Pennsylvania family, Jeffrey was adopted by an Illinois family but may be in Houston TX.
Date: 1997-08-06
Number of children: 2

Facilitators

Location

Guatemala, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - Semillas de Amor case

Date: 2008-05-12
Number of children: 51

Orphanages

Agencies

Location

Parramos, Chimaltenango
Guatemala

Guatemala - son of Gladys Caal Suc case

May 11, 2007, 17 year old Gladys was leaving Hospital Roosevelt with her newborn son, when the boy was stolen from her arms, by Rosalinda Rivera Estrada. Believed to be adopted abroad.  Rosalinda Rivera was charged and sentenced for this crime. Facilitators listed are individuals and organizations in Guatemala who played a role.
Date: 2007-05-11
Number of children: 1

Location

guatemala, Guatemala
Guatemala

Guatemala - trafficking ring in Coatepeque

In 2000, 4 children were located in Guatemala city casa cunas and returned to their mothers after the mothers complained to Prosectur Mario Orozco.
Date: 2000-01-01
Number of children: 4

Location

Coatepeque, Quetzaltenango
Guatemala

Guatemala / Costa Rica - International Adoption Resource (FL) and Rolf Levy case

Costa Rican authorities discovered 9 Guatemalan babies in a house rented by International Adoption Resource. The children were destined for adoption in the US while Guatemalan adoptions were on hold. Interpol issued an arrest warrant for Rolf Salomon Levy Berger alleging he smuggled the children to Costa Rica. Levy was also wanted by Colombia government for child trafficking. The children were returned to their families, who did not realize the children were to be adopted.
Date: 2003-12-12
Number of children: 9

Orphanages

Organizations: Casa Cuna in El Jardín, La Uruca

Location

La Uruca district of San Jose, San Jose
Costa Rica

Guatemala / Mexico - Flor de María Soto Hernández

Flor de María Soto Hernández, a year and a half old, was stolen in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, moved to Guatemala and given as a referral to a Canadian couple. The child was located and the adoption proceedings stopped after the DNA test failed
Date: 1997-01-01
Number of children: 1

Location

Cuidad Hildago, Chiapas
Mexico

Haiti - misc child trafficking articles case

child trafficking for adoption articles
Date: 2007-09-01
Number of children:

Location

Jeremie, Grand'Anse
Haiti

Honduras - misc trafficking cases

Misc child trafficking for adoption articles
Date: 1984-01-01
Number of children:

Facilitators

Persons: Maria Victoria Navarrette, Maria Aguilar, Olbin Mejia, Rosargentina Pinel-Cordova, Maria del Carmen Zepeda

Location

Tegucigalpa, Francisco Morazan
Honduras

India - Ashwini and Komal, Satara case

Kisabai Tulshiram Lokhande

Kisabai Tulshiram Lokhande's two granddaughters Ashwini and Komal went "missing'' from a children's remand home in Satara in 2004. In 2005, the girls were learnt to have been adopted by a Spanish couple.
Date: 2005-01-01
Number of children: 2

Orphanages

Organizations: Preet Mandir

Location

Satara, Maharashtra
India

India - Bhagya and Manjula case

    
Lakshmi placed her daughters temporarily in an orphanage so they could get and education. The girls names and ages were changed and they were adopted by a US family.
Date: 1998-11-01
Number of children: 2

Orphanages

Organizations: "Agency for Social Improvement (ASI) in Hyderabad" (psuedonym), "Paul Solomon Memorial Home (PSMH) in Vandanoor" (psuedonym)

Location

Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
India

India - Malaysian Social Services case

Ravindrath family Ravindranath family             

For years stolen children were processed through adoption agency and orphanage known as Malaysian Social Services, at Tiruverkadu in Chennai's northwest. MSS paid people to steal children, gave them new identities and placed them for adoption. As many as 165 stolen children may have been adopted by overseas parents, with 14 going to couples in Australia. See Individual cases:

Sateesh Kumar (Anbu Rohit Bisessar aka "Rahul") case
Subash (aka Ashraf) son of Sivagama and Nageshwar Rao case
Zabeen (aka Suji) daughter of Fatima and Sali case
Date: 2008-08-23
Number of children: 165

Location

Tiruverkadu, Tamil Nadu
India

India - Preet Mandir case

Renuka  Renuka with photos of her siblings in Italy
Preet Mandir refuses to return children to birth families, makes donation demands of PAPs, violates CARA rules, and takes poor care of children. See individual cases:
Ashwini and Komal, Satara case
Date: 1999-01-01
Number of children:

Orphanages

Organizations: Preet Mandir

Location

Pune, Maharashtra
India

India - Sabila and Akil case



In 1996 Sabila and Akil were taken away and sold by their drunken father for the equivalent of $50. The children, aged two and three, were traded by child traffickers.
Date: 2006-03-01
Number of children: 2

Agencies

Organizations: Madras Social Service Guild - MASOS GUILD, An Australian agency

Location

Chennai, Tamil Nadu
India

India - Satheesh Kumar ("Rahul") case



Sateesh Kumar was kidnapped from his sleeping family in 1999, placed in Malaysian Social Services orphanage, and adopted by a family in the Netherlands in 2001
Date: 1999-10-01
Number of children: 1

Location

Pulianthope, Tamil Nadu
India

India - St Theresa's Tender Loving Care & Priyamvada, 3 yr old from St Theresa's TLC

St Theresa's has a long history of trafficking children for adoption.
Also, information about 3 year old child being held at TLC for a US woman. When her husband was charged with killing their newly adopted Guatemalan baby, the adoption was fast tracked. Indian authorities became aware and the adoption was halted.
Date: 2004-04-02
Number of children: 1

Orphanages

Persons: Anita Sen

Location

Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
India

India - Subash (aka Ashraf) son of Sivagama and Nageshwar Rao case

 

Subash was stolen, transferred to an orphanage, had his name changed to Ashraf and was placed with US parents on the shores of Lake Michigan
Date: 1999-02-08
Number of children: 1

Location

Pulianthope, Tamil Nadu
India

India - Zabeen (aka Suji) daughter of Fatima and Sali case

Fatima 
Fatima and Sali's 2-year-old daughter Zabeen was snatched as she played outside her home in Chennai. Fatima recognized Zabeen in an MSS brochure shown to her by police. Zabeen now lives with adoptive parents in Queensland.
Date: 2000-01-01
Number of children: 2

Orphanages

Persons: PV Ravindranath, Vatsala wife of PV Ravindranath, G.P. Manoharan, Sheikh Dawood (kidnapper), Sabeera and Nawjeen (women kidnappers)

Location

Chennai, Tamil Nadu
India

Indonesia - misc trafficking cases

Date: 1989-01-01
Number of children:

Location

Indonesia

Indonesia - Rosdiana case

In July 2005, three Indonesian women identified as Rosdiana, Maretha and ER were arrested for persuading poor mothers around their neighborhood in Ciputat, South Jakarta, to sell their children to foreigners.

Maretha and Rosdiana were respectively sentenced to 8 years and 9 years in prison, plus 50 million Rupiah or 5 additional months in jail, for baby selling and document falsification.
Date: 2004-03-06
Number of children:

Facilitators

Persons: Rosdiana, Maretha, Juni Worten

Location

Ciputat
Indonesia

Iraq - misc. child trafficking cases

Criminal gangs are profiting from the cheap cost of buying infants and the bureaucratic muddle that makes it relatively easy to move them overseas. 

According to a senior police officer, at least 15 Iraqi children were sold every month, some overseas, some internally, some for adoption, some for sexual abuse. The main countries in which they are sold are Jordan, Turkey, Syria and some European countries including Switzerland, Ireland, the UK, Portugal and Sweden. 
Date: 2009-04-06
Number of children:

Kenya - Abednego Rioba case

Elizabeth Rioba thought she was providing her son a foreign education in a boarding situation but instead was signing adoption papers. There is no word for adoption in Swahili. Families in Kenya often send children to live with richer relatives for education; children return at holidays.
Date: 2008-03-09
Number of children: 1

Location

Mombasa
Kenya

Kenya - Miracle babies case

Self-styled Archbishop Gilbert Deya, claimed that women could become pregnant through the power of prayer. Women then traveled to Kenya where they were said to have given birth in slum clinics, but DNA tests done proved there was no link to the supposed mother. Meanwhile at Kenya's largest maternity hospital, 24 couples claimed their babies were stolen. At least 53 total children were involved.
Date: 2004-01-06
Number of children: 53

Facilitators

Organizations: Pumwani Maternity Hospital
Persons: Gibert Deya, Mary Deya, Eddah and Michael Odera, Ms Miriam Nyeko, Ms Rose Kiserem

Location

Nairobi
Kenya

Korea - misc child trafficking cases

adoption trafficking cases
Children are placed for adoption against the will of birth family
Children's past are erased to facilitate adoptions
Date: 1971-01-01
Number of children:

Location

Seoul, Seoul Special City
South Korea

Laos - misc child trafficking case

A retired justice ministry officer in allegedly sells children for adoption to Americans, Canadians, and Australians.
Date: 2012-02-06
Number of children:

Location

Laos

Lebanon - misc trafficking cases

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

Location

Lebanon

Liberia - West African Children Support Network case



John Varkpola whose niece is now in the US

Over the years West African Children Support Network placed more than 100 children from Liberia. Early 2009, the agency was under investigation of whether the children were being taken care of properly and according to our basic standards.
Date: 2008-11-01
Number of children:

Location

Liberia

Madagascar - misc. child trafficking cases

In 2004, since the beginning of the year, 5 adoption trafficking networks affecting have been dismantled. Children, mostly infants, were stolen and sent to illegal adoption centres, mainly in France and other countries of Europe where they were then sold for about US $800 each.  The French couples were often unaware of the illegality as genuine documents were usually provided by corrupt government officials working with the traffickers.


Date: 2004-04-04
Number of children:

Malaysia - misc trafficking cases

Date: 1989-01-01
Number of children:

Location

Malaysia

Mali - "Rayon de Soleil" case

Since the 1990s, hundreds of Malian children were were sent to France for adoption, by a French NGO, Rayon de Soleil de l'Enfant Étranger.  The Malian parents are searching their children they have lost track of since more than 15 years. They were told they would received news of their children by Rayon de Soleil in Paris, and that their children would be sent to them during their vacations and would returned to them at the age of majority whenever they want.  
Date: 2007-11-01
Number of children:

Mexico - misc trafficking articles case

Misc adoption trafficking articles
Date: 1997-01-01
Number of children:

Facilitators

Persons: David Rivera of NJ

Location

Mexico

Mexico - Amado Torres and Maria Isabel Hernandez case

Amado Torres, of Harlingen, Texas, and Maria Isabel Hernandez, of Mexico recruited Mexican women to give birth in the U.S. and sell their babies to couples there.
Date: 2008-05-01
Number of children:

Location

Harlingen, Texas
United States
See map: Google Maps

Mexico - Arlene Lieberman, Arlene Reingold and Mario Reyes case

  Two women facilitate illegal Mexican adoptions along with lawyer Mario Manuel Reyes Burgueno (aka Mario Reyes). Reyes paid Mexican mothers for the children, paid other women to pose as mothers to obtain birth certificates, hired professional smugglers to bring the babies to the US without immigration and adoption paperwork, and falsified documents.
Date: 1996-01-01
Number of children: 17

Location

Agua Prieta, Sonora
Mexico

Mexico - Carlos Lopez case

Seven babies were seized from Irish couples while in the process of being adopted. The children were bought from local women. The adoptions were arranged by attorney Carlos Lopez, who had been processing adoptions to Ireland for seven years.
Date: 2012-01-14
Number of children:

Location

Guadalajara, Jalisco
Mexico

Pound Pup Legacy