Australians adopt children allegedly stolen in India

Date: 2008-08-23

Australians adopt children allegedly stolen in India

August 23, 2008
Marina Dimova

Australians adopt children allegedly stolen in India Australian authorities are helping investigate claims that Indian children adopted by Australians were stolen from their parents and trafficked by a bogus orphanage, officials said Saturday.

A spokesman for the Queensland state government confirmed that Malaysian Social Services (MSS), a private company licensed by the Indian government, was the intermediary in adoptions by Queensland couples.

Indian police allege Chennai-based MSS paid people to steal children, gave them new identities and put them up for adoption.

According to a report in Time magazine, as many as 120 stolen children may have been adopted by overseas parents, with 14 going to couples in Australia.

Time quoted a woman called Fatima claiming her 2-year-old daughter Zabeen was snatched as she played outside her home in Chennai. Fatima said she recognized Zabeen in an MSS brochure shown to her by police.

Zabeen, now 9, is believed to be living in Queensland. Her adoptive parents said they had no idea she could have been stolen.

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