The case of the adopted baby
Police stop the sale of a baby girl:
There have been numerous instances where new born babies and young children have been abducted in the past from the lawful custody of their parents. We often hear of such bizarre incidents with alarming frequency these days.
However the case that brought tears to the eyes of many mothers was the adduction of a new born infant from the Colombo South Hospital, Kalubolvila last month. A mother who gave birth to a child at the hospital was abruptly removed by another woman with the help of a hospital employee and a janitor at the hospital.
After weeks of painstaking detective work, Kohuwela police however were able to trace the suspect woman and the infant.
The specialised state agency that deals with numerous problems affecting children is called the National Child Protection Authority (CPA) located at Talawatugoda Road, Madiwela Kotte. Experienced policemen and policewomen drawn from the regular police Department are on secondment at the CPA.
These dedicated men and women officers work around the clock attending to sensitive and intricate problems affecting children.
According to Chief Inspector Wijesena of the NCPA there have been instances where innocent children have been beaten by their drunkard parents causing grievous injury to them.
There have been cases where fathers have had an incestuous relationship with their daughters. This is more common in rural areas where mothers have migrated to the Middle Eastern countries for employment. But the common practice among poor women was to desert new born babies or to sell them illegally for adoption.
However when such cases are reported to a police station, it is referred to the National Child Protection Authority after initial investigation as it falls within the purview of the NPA.
A few months ago the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) was tipped off that a new born baby girl born to a woman sex worker at the Nagoda hospital in the Kalutara district was sold to a foreign couple from the Netherlands for adoption.
On receipt of the information sleuths from the NCPA made discreet inquiries and found the Dutch couple was holidaying at a tourist Hotel at Moragalla. This was their second visit to Sri Lanka. In fact when they arrived previously they had told several tourist guides and local people in the area that they were anxious to adopt a Sri Lankan child legally.
Several persons living in Moragalla area who came to know about this met the couple and assured them that a new born baby would be found for their adoption. The Dutch couple after spending a delightful vacation in Sri Lanka returned to the Netherlands.
Meanwhile the local tour guides and others who met the Dutch couple were in constant touch with them by exchanging e-mails. According to investigations carried by NCPA's Chief Inspector Wijesena and his sleuths the Dutch couple had remitted a sum of nearly 7 lakhs to Sri Lankans to find them a child.
Last August when the couple arrived in Sri Lanka they had checked into a tourist hotel at Moragalle. Thereafter they met the local tour guides and other friends in the area and discussed the possibility of finding a child.
Meanwhile the local people informed the Dutch couple they had found a woman who was willing to give away her new born daughter for adoption as she could not afford the cost of bringing up a child.
They also promised the couple that the child's birth certificate would be issued to the Dutch woman as if she had given birth to a daughter at the Nagoda hospital. The local people also cautioned the couple particularly the woman if police question them about the baby to inform them, that she gave birth while on her way to the Nagoda hospital.
Subsequently the local woman who gave birth to a baby girl at the Nagoda hospital met the Dutch couple at Moragalle and handed over her infant to them. Thereafter the couple with the infant returned to the hotel to nurse the baby.
Meanwhile Inspector Wijesena and his sleuths who came to know about the sale of the child decided to question the couple. It was some where in August 23 when NCPA sleuths burst in to the room where the couple was staying.
They found only the Dutchman fondling the baby in his arms. When the Dutch woman arrived later they questioned her about the baby. She then told policemen that she was in an advanced state of pregnancy when she arrived in Sri Lanka and subsequently gave birth on her way to the Nagoda hospital. She also produced a birth certificate issued by the Nagoda hospital.
The hard boiled detectives however refused to believe her version of the story and questioned her further. Later the woman broke down and admitted that she lied to the police. She then gave the names and addresses of local tour guides and other people who arranged the fake adoption.
Meanwhile police found a fake birth certificate issued by the Nagoda Hospital to the couple. Police later arrested eight persons including an ex Member of the Pradehiya Sabba and the mother of the child. The suspects were later produced before court.
Subsequently the Attorney General (AG) served indictments on the suspects. The case will be taken up for hearing on the 28th of this month in High Courts, police said.