Qld Govt investigates adoption after kidnapping claim

Date: 2008-08-25
Source: abc.net.au

Qld Govt investigates adoption after kidnapping claim

Aug 25, 2008

The Queensland Government says it is investigating the case of an Indian child, believed to be a 10-year-old girl, who may have been stolen and sold for adoption in Australia.

The Federal Government is currently investigating scams surrounding some adopted Indian children, after a magazine investigation uncovered evidence of a child trafficking ring which operated in India about 10 years ago.

The report claims a 10-year-old-child living in Queensland was stolen from the streets of Chennai in Southern India.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says the State Government will provide whatever assistance it can to the federal investigation into the adoption racket.

Ms Bligh says an Indian court approved the adoption of a child by a Queensland family seven years ago, but it is now alleged the child had been kidnapped.

She says she does not know what is going to happen to the child in question.

"I think it's far too early to be speculating about that and I think it would be wrong of me given the very complex human issues at heart involved in this," she said.

"This is about a child, and an adoptive family that's gone out of their way and done their best to give a child a new life and to make a family.

"Equally, there are birth parents who have equally suffered.

"It won't, I think, only come down to a matter of law."

Queensland's Department of Child Safety is conducting an audit of other adoptions from India.

Ms Bligh says the Child Safety Minister Margaret Keech spoke with the Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland on Monday.

"[She] advised him that we stand ready to provide any material that would be of assistance and to assist in any way with federal inquires," she said.

An Australian parent who adopted two children from India, then discovered they had been stolen from their birth parents, says tighter rules are needed to stop the same kind of thing happening again.

Two years ago, Julia Rollings found out her then 11-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son, had been sold by their biological father to the orphanage from which they were adopted.

Ms Rollings and her husband adopted the children through an Indian court when the children were nearly four and five.

She says when they found out their children's past there was very little help from Australia.

Under Australian law, the children are Australian citizens and children of the adoptive parents.

Adapted from a report by Brigid Glanville for ABC Radio's PM program on August 25, 2008.

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