Sunday 21 April 2019

Children adopted after parents were tricked, told they were going to 'holiday camp'

The demand for DNA applies to Congolese children adopted in Belgium from November 2013. Stock Image: Getty Images
The demand for DNA applies to Congolese children adopted in Belgium from November 2013. Stock Image: Getty Images

James Crisp

Congolese children were allegedly kidnapped, taken to an orphanage and put up for adoption in Belgium after their parents were tricked into sending them to a holiday camp, it has emerged.

Belgian prosecutors have been asking around 15 families for DNA samples from their adopted children in a bid to trace their biological parents.

The adoptive families had been led to believe that the biological parents were dead.

Lorin Parys, a Flemish politician with an adopted son, said: "This is a drama. How do you explain such things to those children? Not to mention the pain the real parents must feel."

The demand for DNA applies to Congolese children adopted in Belgium from November 2013. Prosecutors want to find out the extent of any trafficking to Belgium, which colonised a region of Africa, including the present day Democratic Republic of Congo. Investigators have identified at least four cases where a Congolese child adopted in Belgium had living biological parents thousands of kilometres away.

The parents, who lived in the countryside, were persuaded to send their children to a holiday camp in the capital, Kinshasa. But the children were instead put in the Tumaini orphanage, which investigators found had recently been hastily closed. The children were then flown from there to Belgium.

Irish Independent

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