Sunday, October 3, 2010
Survey conducted by local charity 'Bio Parents Locate' in Colombo, revealed that over 35,000 SL-children are being adopted by foreigners.!!!
Lankan-born children meet biological parents here
by Ananda KANNANGARA
Gunawathi and daughter Kristina Somalatha
Although a close rapport between children and parents should exist we hear of incidents where mothers abandon their children at bus halts, hospitals, under lamp posts and by the side of roads. Some parents throw their infants into rivers, while others send their children into employment at a tender age.
Some parents give their children away for adoption to foreign nationals.
A recent survey conducted by a newly formed local charity 'Bio Parents Locate' in Colombo, revealed that over 35,000 Sri Lankan children are currently being adopted by foreign nationals.
According to many adopted children who contacted Bio Parents Locate via internet and the website, they were given away to foreign foster parents by their biological parents in Sri Lanka at a tender age.
President, Bio Parents Locate, Dr. Rohan Ratnayake in an interview with the Sunday Observer said the main objective of forming the association was to facilitate the adopted Sri Lankan children to locate their biological parents in Sri Lanka and also to facilitate the biological parents to locate their children given in adoption, years ago. The association has received over 35,000 requests from Sri Lankan children in foreign countries such as Norway, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Germany and Holland to locate their parents in Sri Lanka.
Kristina Somalatha, husband Palsson Magnus and their daughter
Kristina feeds her mother a piece of milk rice
Dr. Rohan Ratnayake and Ariyasiri Arangallage
Kristina Somalatha with her family and relations at Bulathkohupitiya
'Bio parents locate' Treasurer, Ariyasiri Arangallage said the Association was formed two months ago. During this short period they were able to reconnect eight Sri Lankan children who are presently in foreign countries with their biological parents in Sri Lanka. "Our Association is a Colombo based international non profit charity. It was established under the Companies Act No. 7 of 2007 with the aim of assisting adopted Sri Lankan children to locate their bio parents here,"
He said judges, doctors, engineers, lecturers, lawyers and owners of business enterprises are the prominent members of the association and they financially help the association to carry out its activities. Many of their attempts in the search for biological parents here were not successful due to lack of proper information given by the children on their parents. A recent visit was made by a media team to Bulathkohupitiya in the Sabaragamuwa Province to meet two Swedes of Sri Lankan origin, (a female and a male) who met their biological parents and also relatives.
The story of W.D. Gunawathi (56) of Palanpitiya at Bulathkohupitiya is pathetic. When she was 26-years-old she had an affair with a man in the area and had given a birth to a baby girl without being legally married.
"Four months into my pregnancy, he left me for no reason and after the baby Somalatha (now Kristina) was born I faced numerous difficulties.
I had to work at a house in Ratmalana and a Swedish couple who visited the house requested me to give Somalatha who was only four-years-old at that time for adoption," she said.
Although at first she refused to part with the baby, during their second visit to Sri Lanka she changed her mind and gave the child for adoption.
Somalatha who born on May 5, 1976 is now 33 years old. She was named Kristina Somalatha by her adopted parents. She is employed in a travel agency in Sweden.
"I went on the internet and informed Bio Parents Locate and found my parents after 32 years.", Kristina said.
"I met my husband Palsson Magnus (36 years) who is a Technical Engineer in Physics in Sweden. My foster parents in Sweden are divorced. My husband and I have a baby girl,"
Krishantha now Peter Martensson (30) of Moratuwa said that his mother died and he was given away for adoption to the Good Shepherd Convent, Dehiwela when he was only four months old.
"Thereafter, I was taken away by my foster parents to Sweden. I presently live in Gothenborg, Sweden"
He had his entire education was in Sweden and he is now employed as a marketing co-ordinator,"
"I came to Sri Lanka in 2006, but I couldn't get the accurate details of my parents, However, now I have found some of my relations in Moratuwa," he said.
He is unmarried and wishes to marry either a Swedish or a Sri Lankan girl,"
Bio Parents Locate Secretary, Dharshani Dissanayake requested any Sri Lankan parents or Sri Lankan children adopted by foreigners to contact their organisation.
She said informations received by them will not be disclosed to a third party and they assure 100 percent confidentiality.
She also thanked the Sri Lankan Government for their assistance extended towards the organisation.
Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2010 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.