Australian adoptees may be kidnap victims

Date: 2008-08-24

Australian adoptees may be kidnap victims

August 24, 2008

CANBERRA, Australia, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- At least 13 Australian families may have to return Indian children they adopted almost a decade ago, officials said.

The families and children were victims of a criminal operation that kidnapped children and sold them to an adoption agency, Malaysia Social Services, based in the Indian city of Chennai or Madras, The Brisbane Times reported. A Time magazine report said a 9-year-old girl, Zabeen, now living in Queensland, was kidnapped in Chennai when she was 2.

In Australia, provincial and federal authorities have begun their own investigations, the Times said.

"These allegations demonstrate why it is necessary to maintain rigid procedural safeguards to ensure the integrity of the overseas adoption system and, in particular, to avoid the exploitation of children," said Robert McClelland, the Australian attorney general.

McLelland's office reports that between 1997 and 2007 Australian families adopted more than 300 Indian children, accounting for about 10 percent of overseas adoptions.


I'm Suji

Hi, My name is Suji Bridgstock and I come from australia. I have read all these articles alledgildy about me/ Zabeen. From what i have been told, my -non-realating sister (Sunni) is Zabeen. I think this is true, well thought. In many of the articles it said that i was two and playing on the road. i was adopted when i was 18 months and i could barely crawl.

Learning from outside sources

Hi Suji. Thank you for posting a comment.

I'll be honest, your comment really struck me in the gut for reasons I will explain.

You see, I am an adoptee, born in one country, and sent to another, because that action, even in the 1960's, was promoted as being in my best-interest.

Thirty years later I was ready to do my own adoption-search about my first parents - and myself. Back then there was no website like PPL to peruse.

When I started my search, I was so.... inexperienced and naive. I was so believing and trusting, even though well-before my search I had a list of reasons to have doubts and misgivings about various reported facts that led to my adoption. While I never dared to verbally contradict anyone who offered some information, (or let-on that I was always on a fact-finding mission), I always asked various family members what they knew about me when I was a baby, especially when I first arrived and became an American. I wanted to hear the story from more than one or two people. When I asked, I always watched and listened. And I always knew when one person's story did not quite match another person's version of the same story.

I thought when I was 30, I was finally mature and strong enough to get to the bottom of my own adoption story.

Never in a million years did I really think or believe so many people would or could lie to me like they did, for as long as they did, all about an adoption story. But this sort of thing happens a LOT to adoptees. [Just ask those who didn't learn they were adopted until they were teens or adults !!!]

In retrospect, I think in my own case, many extended family members simply did not have or know any of the facts I needed. As it was, adoption was very much a taboo topic around my APs. So, maybe it wasn't lies, per-se.... but when it came to facts about my adoption, not much was not the truth, either.

Either way, no one liked it when I asked "adoption questions". Some would even say, "Why do you keep asking? You're one of us, that's all you need to know."

No. That's NOT all I needed to know. Fellow Foundlings get this.

I had only one human resource I trusted: my Adad. My Adad could be described as a simple modern-day barbaric neanderthal with two modes: he could be either angry or he could be happy. It was very easy to read his emotional map, and I knew, based on the happy-mode I got to see, this man truly deeply loved me, like a daddy ought to love his little girl. Because it was so easy to read his body language, it was very easy to recognize when he was lying about something. When he was lying, or struggling with something that was too complex and complicated for him, he was not happy.

My bond to my Adad was always very strong, and I know I have always loved him because we always had this automatic bond. He was the only person I wanted to see happy, even if his happiness hurt me.

It was my Adad who kept telling me to stop and drop my adoption investigation.

For a while, I took his command to mean: he wanted me to stop hurting. [Or, in his words, "Just shake it off."] He wanted me to accept what was done when I was a baby, and move-on with my life. He wanted me to get-over whatever disappointment I felt for being put-up for adoption in the first place. And he wanted all the tangibles surrounding me -- my own bedroom room, presents on my birthday and holidays, and rooms filled with toys to play with -- to serve as the constant visual reminder that proved I was one lucky girl. On some level, I knew , as the only adoptee in that family, it was my job to show just how happy and grateful I was for being adopted by this one and only "super-special" couple. It was MY job to show the world what good people I had as parents.

In addition to always looking grateful and happy, ready with a cheerful song, there was one more thing I had to do, even though this task was never actually discussed.

In addition to keeping some things secret, (like, never mention to anyone, EVER, just how difficult, unstable,and dysfunctional my Amother really was behind closed doors), the very least I could do, as re-payment, is forget something about that bad weird feeling I got when I put some thought into they way in which they got me. I was to forget something about the adoption-plan, as a whole, just didn't FEEL right.

Something was wrong... and it bothered me, but I was not allowed to discuss this nagging feeling openly, because doing so would upset my AMother.

NO ONE was allowed to upset her. If she got upset, my Adad would get angry. My Adad would do some really irrational scary things when he got angry.

So, if there was a confict in an early Kerry's-Adoption-Story, you better believe it was my AMother's story -- her version of the adoption-story -- I was to accept, because (according to my often unhappy Adad), she knew best.

Over the years, after having contact with many adoptees, I have learned there are many reasons why some APs see no harm in telling a white-lie or two about an adoption story. Sometimes the APs feel it's better to protect the child from truly vile first-parents. Sometimes the APs know very little because the child truly was abandoned. Sometimes the APs think, "what harm would there be if they used a little creative license when telling an adoption-story?". And some APs just want to look like the ultimate human hero, incapable of ever making a mistake or using poor judgement.

Your remark, "From what i have been told, my -non-realating sister (Sunni) is Zabeen. I think this is true, well thought. In many of the articles it said that i was two and playing on the road. i was adopted when i was 18 months and i could barely crawl.", reminds me there is a whole new generations of curious adoptees doing their own private searches on computers, with very little outside support.

For some, PPL is a brilliant beacon of truth that confirms suspicions and by proxy, empowers those who are determined to make some changes through various groups and missions.

For others, PPL is a hell-hole. It's an opening to the abyss... filled with a labyrinth of one horror after another. For those shocked by what is written in many of our archived material, the immediate response would most naturally be: none of this is true.

Here at PPL we make a strong commitment to include only those reports that have been investigated and reported by an outside-resource. We will not, for instance, archive material about stolen children or cases involving child abuse in the adoptive family simply because one person came to us with their story. There's too much room for error when one trusts one person's POV about a given situation.

It's up to you, in terms of what it is you're going to do with the information you have found here on PPL.

I know when the more conflicting facts (in the form of documents) started coming in and unfurling before me about my own adoption history, I found myself very alone, scared, and enraged. Going to my APs was not an option because 1) I was not allowed to discuss adoption matters with them and 2) the documents I found proved the Amother who knew it all really knew nothing related to the truth, and 3) going to them was too unsafe, especially since I myself was blind with rage.

My husband really didn't know how to handle me and my anger and my adoption issues; and all my friends were "normal" (aka NOT adopted people.) The only people I felt like I could talk to about all the crap I was discovering were other adoptees. I found their experiences and insight was profoundly helpful. The best part is, this was a network I created myself, through the internet. I needed that control...that ability to decide for myself, with whom am I going to share this part of myself? My personal support network is a very strange mix of people... but boy, as a combined effort, they sure do know how to build me up when I'm immobile, on the ground.  

Since PPL is so unlike any other adoption-focused website, I understand how reading information about yourself, (or your APs/their adoption lawyers/agency), from an outside resource can be a surreal experience. One can't be too sure about anything... which is why doing a search can be so chaotic....and damaging. So, if there's one piece of advice I'd like you to walk away with, it's this: don't forget the importance and value of sharing your thoughts and feelings with those who will SUPPORT your need to continue your investigation, or put it to an end.

BTW, fwiw, If it were me reading about myself, and how I was found, the first thing I would have done is check what sort of general facts I could find about myself. For instance, what stage of development was I at, when I was "found"?  How did I behave, once my APs received me? [Do my AP's have any old copies of pediatrician well-visits?]  Based on the information I was able to find, do those ages and stages of development fit and match?   [In terms of motor skills, I know most infants are able to take their first steps at 12 months. By 15 months a child can walk alone. By 24 months a child can manage stairs and door knobs. The chart found here can better outline what skills you were able to do, during the time-frame in question.]  

The posted-piece Infant/Child Response to Grief can help explain why there may be a discrepancy in age/behaviors... and why an AP may expect a child to be at one stage of development, (based on reported age), but see something very different once the child arrives, and is forced to to adjust to a whole new environment.

I have found, for my own peace of mind, little things like filling in some of the time-gaps DO help, especially if one is trying to thread her own life-story into a single tapestry.


Thank-you for the big explination. But i have not been mislead in any way. I belive what some people tell me, although not Arun Dohl.

Pound Pup Legacy