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Thousands of babies were kidnapped or sold in Sri Lanka in the 1980s. The scandal affected Switzerland and involved private intermediaries, who were little concerned about the origin of the adopted children. Swiss couples adopted nearly 750 children from Sri Lanka in those years.
These children are adults now, and many of them discovered that their birth certificates are fakes.
The traffic took many forms. Sometimes, the babies were taken away from their mothers or simply purchased for a few bucks. The court procedures were masquerades with fake mothers (acting mothers) signing the papers of the babies when they were presented to their adoptive parents.
Some of the adopted children founded an association to hold the Swiss government accountable. They want to know how Berne let this trafficking continue despite gross inconsistencies. The adopted children are also asking for financial and psychological support to help them search for their origins. We had exceptionally access to the diplomatic archive of those years, which has revealed some of the Swiss authorities’ responsibility in this scandal for the first time.