Hope for couples who bought children from trafficking ring
By JOSEPHINE JALLEH
January 28, 2013 / thestar.com
GEORGE TOWN: Those who bought children from the recently-busted child trafficking ring may be able to get them back, if they go through the proper channels this time.
Penang Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the couples should apply to the state Welfare Department.
“But first, the children’s biological parents need to be traced to determine why they gave them away,” he said yesterday.
Phee also said the children’s attachment to their adoptive parents should be taken into consideration.
“We are concerned about the effects of separation,” he said.
The children are believed to have been placed in a shelter home in Johor.
On Friday, four women and a man claimed trial in a Butterworth Sessions Court to trafficking in seven children between 2008 and Jan 16 this year.
Police busted the child trafficking syndicate with the arrest of 33 people and the rescue of nine children aged between two months and eight years.
Penang police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi had said the syndicate sold babies and children for between RM18,000 and RM30,000.
Penang Welfare Department (JKM) director Zulkifli Ismail said there were a lot of applications by couples who wanted to adopt, resulting in a long waiting list.
“The demand is high and it’s not every day that we have a child found or given to us.
“But when there is a child available, we quickly contact the couple who has waited the longest,” he said.
He added that the department would monitor the progress of those given up for adoption to ensure they were safe with their new families.