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.

Mozambique - child trafficking case

According to Lurdes Mabunda, head of the Department of Women and Children in the Ministry of Interior, international adoption is being used by human traffickers as a false cover to legally smuggle children out of Mozambique for use in the slavery and sex trades.

Date: 2007-01-27
Number of children:

Nepal - misc trafficking articles case

Nepal Abandonments Graph from the UNICEF/TDH report

The trend of child follows the trend of intercountry adoption. "Abandonments" in Kathmandu Valley plummet after intercountry adoption was suspended in May–June 2007. The number of abandoned children picked up again in December 2007 after the announcement that adoption would be reopened.
General trafficking articles and the UNICEF/TDH report with extensive information about biological families being misled or tricked.
Date: 2007-03-07
Number of children:

Orphanages

Organizations: Bal Mandir, Nepal, Nepal's Children Organization, a Thankot orphanage with children from Humla

Agencies

Organizations: Focus on Children Utah, other US and Spanish agencies

Location

Kathmandu, Bagmati
Nepal

Nepal - Ayush son of Sunita Bhattarai case

 

Sunita Bhattarai left her son Ayush temporarily in a child care center. When she asked for him back, she was told she had to pay. She worked 3 months to earn money and returned to visit and ask for him again. She was told he was adopted to a family in Spain. She left the child care center and attempted suicide by lighting herself on fire with kerosene.
Date: 2003-01-01
Number of children: 1

Orphanages

Persons: Kalpana

Location

Chabil area of Kathmandu, Bagmati
Nepal

Nepal - Kaushal and Karuna, children of Rajan Kumar Nepali and wife Maya

Rajun and Maya placed their 6-yo son and 3-yo daughter in an orphanage for temporary care. When they returned to pick them up, they discovered both children's names were changed: Kaushal and Karuna to Dharma and Ahimsa. The children's paperwork was being readied for intercountry adoption. Orphanage director Sabitri Basnet, would only return their son Kaushal. Several months later, Karuna was in the custody of a US family for adoption. The child was eventually returned to the orphanage, and then to her parents.

Date: 2009-06-01
Number of children: 2

Location

Kathmandu, Bagmati
Nepal

Nepal - Kobi Raj Shahi case

Padam Bahadur Shahi Padam Bahadur Shahi was struggling to take care of his three children when his wife fell ill. A friend suggested that he send his oldest son to the Tuguda Balbalika Udaya Kendra in Kathmandu to be looked after.Later Shahi found out his son, Kobi Raj Shahi (aka Kaviraj Shahi), was adopted in Spain. Shahi says he never agreed to put Kobi Raj up for adoption, but the paperwork is all in order. Under Nepali law, there is no way to reverse such an adoption.

This case came to the light when Nepal was being investigated for child trafficking. It closed its borders in May 2007, but reopened December  2008.

Date: 2006-06-02
Number of children: 1

Location

Kathmandu, Bagmati
Nepal

Nepal - Nirmala Thapa's children

A widow sent her 7 children to a child center after her husband died. Three of her children were adopted internationally without her permission, to 3 separate families in Spain.
Date: 2004-01-01
Number of children: 3

Location

Kathmandu, Bheri
Nepal

Nepal - Pawan Karki son of Mitra Bahadur Thapa and Rama Karki case

Mitra Bahadur Thapa (aka Mitra Karki) and Rama Karki, left their two sons (Pawan Karki and Pravesh Karki) in an orphanage temporarily. When Mitra went to visit on Sept 25, 2004, he was beaten. He discovered the 6 year old had been adopted by a Spanish family and the 4 year old was in process of being adopted by a US family.
Date: 2003-09-25
Number of children: 1

Orphanages

Organizations: Mukti Nepal

Location

Kathmandu, Bagmati
Nepal

Nepal - Sabina Sunuwar daughter of Shushila Sunuwar case

Shushila Sunuwar (aka Sushila Lamitzane)  agreed to send her daughter Sabina to Spain for 'as long as her daughter wanted to be there', and expecting she would remained in regular contact with Sabina, and other conditions which indicate Shusila did not understand adoption in the Western sense.
Date: 2003-08-01
Number of children: 1

Location

Kathmandu, Bagmati
Nepal

Nepal - Smriti, daughter of Sarita Bhujel

Sarita Bhujel, placed her daughter in Prayash Nepal so her daughter would be cared for and get an education. She visited her daughter 5 times, the final time she went to visit, her daughter had been placed for adoption with a family in Italy.

Date: 2010-06-22
Number of children: 1

Orphanages

Organizations: Prayas Nepal
Persons: Mani Joshi

Location

Baluwatar, Kathmandu, Bagmati
Nepal

Nigeria - Maternity home trafficking case

Maternity homes which keep pregnant girls, and in some cases have girls impregnanted, for the purpose of adoption. Childless couples in Nigeria purchase the babies.

Date: 2008-01-01
Number of children:

Location

Abuja, Federal Capital Territory
Nigeria

Nigeria - Good Shepherd Orphanage

The Good Shepherd Orphanage in Lagos was shut down by the government for allegedly engaging in child trafficking and the selling of babies. Eleven arrests were made, and the children, including some pregnant girls, were moved to other state institutions.

In her confessional statement to the police the proprietress of the Good Shepherd Orphanage Home, Pastor Gift John,  allegedly admitted to have been engaged in the burning of babies, but denied doing so for ritual purposes. According to a police source, the woman claimed that she was cremating only the babies who died at her orphanage in mysterious circumstances. She claimed that she did not seek government’s permission for such activities because she was sure that such requests would not have been granted.
Date: 2005-01-14
Number of children:

Orphanages

Organizations: Good Shepherd Orphanage (Lagos, Nigeria)

Location

Okota, Lagos
Nigeria

Pakistan - Dennis and Concetta Charles case

Concetta and Dennis Charles (a Malta citizen born in Pakistan) purchased babies from poor families in Pakistan to sell to families in Malta under guise of adoption.  Seven people were arrested including Dennis' brother Derrick Charles. Estimates vary between 39 and 100 children.

Dennis had already been arrested in 1997 for smuggling babies.
Date: 2002-03-01
Number of children: 100

Agencies

Organizations: United Christian Foundation, New United Christian Foundation

Facilitators

Persons: Dennis Charles, Concetta Charles, Derrick Charles (Dennis' brother), Joyce (Dennis' mother), Samina and Iftekhar, Joseph Aziz, Shabbir Shafqat

Location

Karachi
Pakistan

Pakistan - misc child trafficking cases

Misc Child Trafficking for adoption cases including:

Documents were presented with presumed christian children only to be found as forgeries by USCIS after guardianship was granted to US parents. In 2 cases, both the child's Birth Certificate and the alleged mother's Death Certificate were forged.
Date: 2009-01-01
Number of children: 60

Facilitators

Organizations: Pakistan Association Global Adoption Services, United Christian Orphans (Pakistan), Sina Health and Welfare society, Gilgit Pakistan
Persons: Sadeem Shargeel, Izak Javed, Pastor Afzal Bhatti, Pastor Kamran John, Pastor Salim Masih, Tariq Masih, Mr. Sadeem [Masih?], Daniel Lagu

Location

Islamabad
Pakistan

Paraguay - misc trafficking cases

Date: 1989-01-01
Number of children:

Facilitators

Persons: Dawn Bonn, Mary Bonn (aka Mary Bridgett Bonn), Reinaldo Canale, Teresa Cabrall or Cabral, lawyer, Victor Llano, judge, Sonia Tellechea de Miller, judge, Jose Luis Serratti, lawyer, Andres Nissen aka Andres Nissim Pessolani, lawyer, Dorian Flores, baby broker

Location

Paraguay

Peru - Arndt Hubert Kupper and his wife Eva Noruzka la Torre case

German man and his Peruvian wife charged with trafficking Peruvian babies to adoptive parents in Europe from 2004 - 2006
Date: 2006-02-18
Number of children: 30

Agencies

Organizations: Adoptions Hilfe Peru

Location

Lima
Peru

Peru - Céline Giraud - "Rayon de soleil" case.

Céline Giraud, a Frenchwoman born in Peru, was adopted by French parents when she was 16 days old through the NGO, Rayon de Soleil de l'Enfant Étranger. Up to 24 years, she believed that her biological parents had abandoned her for lack of means to raise her. But by finding her birth family in 2004, she discovered that she was stolen from her parents and 25 other Peruvian children adopted in France, Switzerland and Holland in the early 80s, were also stolen from their parents. Her story was written by the French journalist Emily Trevert in her book.
Date: 2010-08-14
Number of children: 26

Peru - misc child trafficking cases

Claudina Herrara who was murderd in 2006 for her unborn child
Articles about child trafficking in Peru
Date: 1980-01-01
Number of children:

Facilitators

Persons: Isabel Palacios, Sofía Parravicini, Diana Rivas (obstetrician)

Location

Peru

Philippines - misc trafficking cases

Miscellaneous child trafficking cases of Filipino children
Date: 1989-01-01
Number of children:

Location

Philippines

Philippines / Singapore - Irene Low Ai Lian case

Filipino babies coerced or purchased from their mothers were illegally transfered to Singapore and then adopted by Singaporeans and internationally.
Date: 2008-12-15
Number of children: 30

Agencies

Location

Jala Jala, Rizal
Philippines

Poland - misc trafficking cases

Pregnant women pressured to relinquish their children by maternity homes, often run by Catholic church organizations that profit from placement.

Pregnant women who advertise children and then jointly with adoptive father register the child as his biological child, thus avoiding a legal adoption (both domestic and inter-country adoptions).
Date: 1989-01-01
Number of children:

Facilitators

Organizations: Catholic run maternity homes
Persons: Krzysztof Orszagh

Location

Poland

Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) - child trafficking case

  Chart from research by Robi & Matsumura

Parents in Marshall Islands, not understanding what adoption means in the West, were coerced or tricked into relinquishing children. In RMI, adoptions are informal affairs within a family. RMI informal adoptions do not sever the link between the child and the bio parents, but rather create a link between the caregiving family and the bio family.
Date: 1998-01-01
Number of children:

Facilitators

Location

Majuro, Marshall Islands
United States
See map: Google Maps

Roma children in Europe case

Ethnic Roma children trafficked for adoption. Often from Bulgaria to Greece, but also from: Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Albania and to: Italy, Austria, United Kingdom.
Date: 2005-01-01
Number of children:

Location

Greece

Romania - Italian couple case

An Italian couple bought a three days old baby from a Romanian mother with whom they had previously made a deal.
Date: 2011-03-10
Number of children: 1

Location

Bacău, Bacau
Romania

Romania - misc trafficking cases

Date: 1990-01-01
Number of children:

Location

Bucharest, Bucuresti
Romania

Romania - Monica Baiaram case

Adrian and Bernadette Mooney arrested trying to leave Romania with a 5 month old Monica Baiaram. They were too old to adopt legally.
Date: 1994-07-19
Number of children: 1

Facilitators

Persons: Ioan Batrana

Location

Bors, Bihor
Romania

Romania / Hungary - John Davies - Adam Children's Fund

John Davies encouraged Romania woman to give birth or abandon Romanian children in Hungary to circumvent Romania's adoption rules
Date: 1993-01-01
Number of children: 28

Facilitators

Organizations: Adam Children's Fund
Persons: John Davies

Location

Miercurea-Ciuc, Harghita
Romania

Russia - misc child trafficking articles case

Misc adoption trafficking articles
Date: 1994-11-23
Number of children:

Location

Moscow, Moscow (City)
Russia

Russia - Maria Bednova

Larisa and Oleg Dushko were told their child died after birth. Larisa's father was concerned that a handicapped child would ruin his name, so he had the child declared dead and transferred to a Baby Home in Stavropol where she was adopted.
Date: 1999-01-01
Number of children: 1

Orphanages

Organizations: Stavropol Baby Home

Facilitators

Persons: Sidor Ivanov (grandfather, Interior Ministry official), Zhermena Sukhina (gynecologist), Anatoly Sukhina (head doctor)

Location

Stavropol
Russia

Russia - Nadezhda Fratti case

Russian native Nadezhda Fratti forged documents to place children from Russia's Volgogad region with Italian families. 1993 - 2000 period
Date: 2001-01-01
Number of children: 600

Orphanages

Organizations: 3 Baby Homes in Volgograd and Children's Homes in Volgograd

Agencies

Organizations: Arcobaleno - onlus

Location

Volgograd, Volgograd
Russia

Russia - Yunona: Ivan Jerdev and Vladimir Jerdev case

Ivan Jerdev, originally from Krasnodar, Russia, set up an adoption facilitation service in Napa California. Originally just Russia, then later Ukraine and Kazakhstan children. Guatemala adoptions started with ultrasound pictures. Allegedly was beginning to work with Mai-Ly Latrace for Vietnam adoption prior to closure. Vladimir Jerdev worked in Krasnodar.

Yunona used photo-listings, which was generally contrary to Russian,Ukrainian, and Kazakhstan laws. Many times children promised where suddenly no longer available after fees were paid, or when the family arrived in country.
Date: 2006-01-24
Number of children:

Agencies

Organizations: Yunona USA
Persons: Ivan Jerdev

Facilitators

Location

Krasnodar, Krasnodar
Russia

Samoa - Focus on Children - Scott & Karen Banks case

  
Scott and Karen Banks                  Heta Nua's Parents
Prosecutors say recruiters exploited the faith of the Samoan parents -- many of whom are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- and sold adoption as a program that would send youngsters to live with an American Mormon family and get a good education before returning home at 18. The Samoan parents claim they also were promised money, regular letters and photos from the U.S. families. Some were told adoption was like a 'mission' trip.

Adoptive parents were not told of the promises, and were falsely told that the youngsters were orphans or abandoned.  See also individual cases:
Elleia Nyberg (Sei So) case
Fa'anunu Faiupu's children case
J.T. case
Michael Ulisese McKrola (Posi Iva) case
and
Heta Nua's death
and this abuse case which mayt be an FOC placement
Boy adopted by Scott and Catherine Kanani Nelson
Date: 2002-02-01
Number of children: 38

Orphanages

Organizations: FOC nanny house in Letogo, FOC nanny house in Ululoloa, MedCen private hospital
Persons: Tagaloa Ieti, and Tagaloa Ieti's wife

Location

Apia
Samoa

Samoa - Fa'anunu and Tafiau Faiupu's 3 children: Lasi Fa'anunu, Motumotu and Fa’afetaitasi case

 
A translator explained Western adoption to the devout LDS parents, "It's something like a mission."
Slideshow
Date: 2003-01-01
Number of children: 3

Agencies

Organizations: Focus on Children Utah

Facilitators

Location

Faleasiu-uta
Samoa

Samoa - J.T. case

20 month old "JT" was adopted in 2003. JT's father never consented to adoption and tried to stop the adoption. JT's adoptive parents were told lies about her history.
Date: 2003-05-01
Number of children: 1

Agencies

Organizations: Focus on Children Utah

Location

Samoa

Samoa - Michael Ulisese McKrola (Posi Iva)

Michael U. McKrola aka Posi Iva  Iva Fuiono and Posi Iva (US Photo)
Posi Iva's family was mislead about adoption.

"Dan Wakefield was like a friend who came here every week," grandfather Fatu Fuiono said. "He came with a sack of rice, noodles. That is why I loved him. If I saw him now I would ask him why he lied to us."

Date: 2003-01-01
Number of children: 1

Agencies

Organizations: Focus on Children Utah

Facilitators

Persons: Dan Wakefield

Location

Faleasiu
Samoa

Sierra Leone - HANCI case



Help a Needy Child International (HANCI), established in 1996, set up child survival centers in Freetown and Makeni (in the north) where it offered services of schooling from kindergarten to tertiary level. When civil war broke out, parents sent their children to the organization for protection and after the war, which ended in 2002, parents who came to fetch their children were told they had been adopted.
Date: 2002-01-01
Number of children: 29

Facilitators

Location

Sierra Leone

Sri Lanka - misc trafficking cases

Misc articles about child trafficking in Sri Lanka
Date: 1989-01-01
Number of children:

Location

Sri Lanka

Taiwan - misc trafficking cases

Date: 1989-01-01
Number of children:

Location

Taiwan

Uganda - Americans for African Adoptions and Joseph Kagimu case

Death Certificates for birth parents and Birth Certificates for 1 child are forged. Based on falsified documentation, guardianship was granted by Ugandan courts to adoptive parents and then a NOID issued by USCIS. Child was not an orphan, not eligible for adoption and returned to care of bio family.

Other cases of 3 families paying AFAA for foster care for 5 children they intended to adopt, only to learn these 5 children were in their birth homes and not in need of adoption.
Date: 2010-01-01
Number of children:

Orphanages

Organizations: AFAA orphanages in Uganda

Agencies

Location

Kampala
Uganda

Ukraine - misc Child trafficking

Misc trafficking cases from Ukraine
Date: 1993-01-01
Number of children: 100

Orphanages

Organizations: Kamyanka-Buzka, Lviv

Location

Kamyanka-Buzka, L'viv
Ukraine

United States/Ukraine - Theresa Erickson, Hilary Neiman case

Erickson and Neiman created an inventory of unborn babies by finding women who would travel to Ukraine to have embryos from unknown donors implanted, according to the FBI. If the pregnancy lasted until the second trimester, the attorneys would offer the babies to prospective parents by falsely representing that the unborn babies were the result of legitimate surrogacy arrangements, but that the intended parents had backed out.
Date: 2011-03-01
Number of children:

Location

Poway, California
United States
See map: Google Maps

Vietnam - misc trafficking articles case

Vietnam - misc trafficking articles
Date: 1998-01-01
Number of children: 39

Orphanages

Persons: Vu Quang Dat, former director of a social welfare center in Hoa Binh province, To Van An, deputy director of a social welfare center in Ninh Binh province

Location

Hanoi
Vietnam

Vietnam - An Giang Province - Le Quoc Binh case

A Baby brokering ring operating in An Giang province  from 1995 - 1997 headed by Le Quoc Binh worked with an obstetrics center, the local orphanage and the birth registrar to sell children for international adoption.

Date: 1995-01-01
Number of children: 199

Facilitators

Organizations: Obstetrics Department of the An Giang Provincial Poly-clinics
Persons: Le Quoc Binh, Ung Thi Ngoc Hoa, Bui Van Khanh, Dr. Nguyen Kim Thanh - Obstetrics Department of the An Giang Provincial Poly-clinics, Bui Quang Hien - baby broker, Le Thi Ai Thien - baby broker, Tran Thi Lac - baby broker, Nguyen Thi Hang and Le Thi Thieu - nurses at Obstetrics Department of the An Giang Provincial Poly-clinics

Location

Long Xuyen, An Giang
Vietnam

Vietnam - Asian Orphans of Hope case

Asian Orphans of Hope Vietnam contact confessed that every child they placed had been purchased.
Date: 2001-04-08
Number of children:

Facilitators

Organizations: Asian Orphans of Hope

Location

Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam

Vietnam - Mary Payne Nguyen case

Vietnam
Date: 1995-01-01
Number of children:

Facilitators

Organizations: AmerAsian Network Inc.

Vietnam - My Linh Soland aka My-Linh Duong Soland case

My Linh Soland facilitated Vietnam adoptions to Ireland by systematically forging documents and encouraging wrongful removal and theft of children. My Linh Soland also may have worked with US and French families. The Irish Adoption Board replaced My Linh Soland with Vu Thi Tanh Binh, her primary employee.
Date: 2006-07-11
Number of children: 150

Orphanages

Facilitators

Location

Vung Tau, Ba Ria-Vung Tau
Vietnam

Vietnam - Nam Dinh province case

Truc Ninh in Tam Binh Province

(Far Left) Truc Ninh entrance

(Left) Babies at Y Yen

Between 2005 and 2008, identifying documents on children born in hospitals were destroyed so the children could be placed as 'abandoned'.

Mothers were given food and money in exhange for leaving their newborns at specific hosptials. Documents were then forged to allow adoption to the west. Pregnant women were housed at the orphanages.

Date: 2008-07-01
Number of children: 266

Facilitators

Organizations: Viet Hung Commune medical center, Kien Luong Commune Medical Station (aka Yen Luong) in Y Yen, Yen Tien commune medical center in Y Yen, a medical center in Nam Truc District, probably 9 more medical centers (13 total), + doctors and nurses

Location

Nam Dinh province
Vietnam

Vietnam - Ruc children of Quang Binh Province

Cao Thi Luong and Cao Thi Lan Cao Thi Luong and Cao Thi Lan siblings aged about 3 and 8

In 2005 or 2006, 13 children were solicited from families of the ethnic minority Ruc hill tribe in rural Quang Binh provice. The Ruc families were told the children would be fed and educated at the Nuturing/Social Welfare Center in Dong Hoi until the family situation improved. When families visited their children, they discovered they'd been adopted internationally.

Also mentioned are siblings Cao Duc Muoi and Cau Duc Buoi aged between 7 and 10 at the time.

Date: 2010-03-14
Number of children: 13

Orphanages

Agencies

Location

Dong Hoi
Vietnam

Vietnam - Tia Sang Orphanage

Tia Sang
More to come
Date: 2010-08-01
Number of children:

Orphanages

Organizations: Tia Sang
Persons: Nguyen Van Manh, To Tuan Anh, Tran Van Huu

Location

Bao Loc Town, Lam Dong province
Vietnam

Pound Pup Legacy