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Denmark suspends all adoptions from India following reports children could have been abducted


COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - Denmark on Monday suspended all adoptions from India after a news report claimed that some of the children who have been adopted in the Scandinavian country could have been abducted.

«I am concerned about the conditions that have surfaced,» said Carina Christensen, the consumer and family affairs minister.

Denmark temporarily suspended all adoption from India «until we feel totally safe that the adoptions from India can be made in a reassuring way.

Christensen also ordered Danish authorities to investigate AC International Child Support, one of Denmark's two government-approved adoption agencies.

The organization, known as AC, was accused in a DR1 television documentary of having received children from an orphange in western Indian city of Pune without the birth parents' approval.

In the documentary that was broadcast Sunday, Ramesh Kulkarne claimed he temporarily placed his two children at Preet Mandir orphanage while finding a job after his wife died. Kulkarne told DR1 that he for years was barred from seeing his children at the orphanage.

In April, Kulkarni learned that the pair had been adopted in Denmark in 2003 through AC International Child Support.

«If the Indian authorities' investigation show that Ramesh Kulkarne wrongfully had his children taken away from him, it is a very tragic case and a big tragedy,» AC board chairman Anders Christensen said.

«We expect the Indian authorities will pursue the case and find out whether a crime has been committed in connection with the legalization of the (adoption) documents,» he added.

The western Denmark-based agency said it had stopped cooperating with Preet Mandir in June 2003 after «repeated rumors about the agency's management's use of unethical methods.» Over the years, AC had found homes for 26 children from Preet Mandir. It was unclear when AC started cooperating with Preet Mandir.

The documentary showed the orphanage manager, J. Bhasin, filmed with a hidden camera by DR1 and saying a child cost $7,000 (¤5,245).

Indian adoption authorities have a maximum $3,500 (¤2,622) to be paid by per case, covering orphanage and caring costs and paperwork in connection with the adoption, according to AC.

«Children that are adopted to Denmark cannot be bought for money,» Christensen said. «That is in violation of international rules.

The DR1 channel said Indian authorities earlier had investigated child trafficking allegations against Preet Mandir.

The broadcast did not indicate that DR1 had sought comment from India's adoption authorities, the Central Adoption Resource Agency _ called CARA _ or from the orphanage. Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Preet Mandir and CARA after office hours failed.

The suspension of Indian adoption also affected Danadopt, Denmark's second adoption agency, which has not cooperated with Preet Mandir.

In 2006, 514 children born abroad were adopted in Denmark, of whom 34 were born in India.

2007 Jun 11