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Indian babies 'bought and sold' for foreign adoption

Updated Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:35am AEST

The number of international adoptions has boomed in recent years as the amount of children available to adopt in Western countries has fallen but international adoption has seen its reputation spiral into a mire of bad news, especially through its association with baby traffickers.

An expose by TIME Magazine has discovered babies in India are being stolen from parents who are very much alive and keen to keep their children.

Presenter: Corinne Podger
Speaker: Rory Callinan, TIME journalist

CALLINAN: Yes India was quite interesting because what had happened in India was that there appeared to be quite a lot of checks in place that created very appropriate looking paperwork, but there was a couple of loopholes that were sort of extremely well exploited. But when the Australian authorities saw the paperwork they were quite happy to accept these children, which suggests that the paperwork was sort of the convincing factor. And this is part of the problem, I mean you can have really sort of good looking paperwork but at the end of the day if you sort of don't do the checks behind who's generating the paperwork you can end up in this situation.

PODGER: You've been following one particular child, a girl called Zabeen who was apparently taken from her parents in a Chennai slum, and it seems adopted by Australian parents who believed she was an orphan. And it seems extensive steps were taken by traffickers to disguise the identity of children like her? ....

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