Exposed. Adopted. Arrived in the now.

Maya's story


Maja Tae Sook Dreyer , Schlicht Katharina (authors)


This is the story of a special woman and her self-discovery against all odds.
Maja doesn't know her parents, her birthday or her exact place of birth. Just a few weeks old, she was abandoned in Daegu (South Korea) in 1969. After two years in an orphanage in Seoul, she was placed in Germany for adoption.
Here, disturbing borderline experiences of strangeness, rejection, domestic violence, sexual assault and a suicide attempt determine her childhood.
She feels more and more clearly her unconditional will to live and her longing for belonging and a self-determined life in her new home. Therefore, the later encounter with her country of birth is not the focus of the novella. Rather, the authors illustrate in powerful scenes how Maja successfully fights for a fulfilled life despite lasting moments of inner conflict and the role her daughter, her husband and her job as a yoga teacher play in this.
It is also the story of the friendship of two women who at first glance seem very different. The past can be processed together, the present can be experienced and the future can be shaped.

We have been silent, but now we are shouting: 28 Danes have suddenly had their adoptive dream destroyed

When Social Affairs Minister Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil closed and switched off Denmark's only adoption agency on national television on 16 January, it was with the words:

"Significant crisis", "children who should not have been adopted", "children who have been trafficked".




Activists not convinced about Norwegian adoption investigation

Norway announced an inquiry into its foreign adoptions. Anti-adoption activists are pleased but have yet to be convinced. "There must be a sufficient level of competence in the committee."

That the government turned around is the only reasonable thing, says adoption activist Priyangika Samanthie to the Norwegian Christian daily Vårt Land. "But we must ensure the level of competence of those who will be part of the review commission. We need experts in human trafficking with a strong legal background. What's more, what this has done to adoptees must be assessed – we can look at this not only legally, but also psychologically."

Samanthie runs the organisation “Romantisert innvandring” (Romanticised immigration), which works to uncover human rights violations in the adoption field. It took years before calls from Samanthie and other people critical towards foreign abortion were heard. "Adoption should be in the child's best interests, but then we are ignored until the authorities are pressured to take a position on it."

Kjersti Toppe, the Norwegian Minister for Children and Families, agrees with Samanthie that it has taken too long for an investigation to take place. "It shouldn't be like that, and we must work on this. For too many years, the prevailing thought has been that international adoption is "a happy thing". We must recognise that we must take the field more seriously."


Court upholds mother’s right as natural guardian for child adoption

In a significant judgment, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled in favour of a minor mother’s independent right as the natural guardian to give her illegitimate child in adoption. Justice Vinod S Bhardwaj also made it clear that the biological father’s consent requirement in case of a guardian was inconsequential under The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act—1956.

Referring to the Act, Justice Vinod S Bhardwaj asserted only the mother of an illegitimate child was the guardian. The law recognided an independent right of the guardian to give the child in adoption. The biological father’s consent was inconsequential since an expression ‘or’ was used in Act. A father could be a guardian in case of an illegitimate child only after the mother. The law did not confer right on an illegitimate child’s father on a par with a legitimate child’s father.

Justice Bhardwaj also referred to the ‘Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act’ before ruling that an unwanted child of a sexual assault victim might be declared free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee.

Justice Bhardwaj observed the government had also notified the ‘Adoption Regulations 2017’ in exercise of powers under the Juvenile Justice Act. The fundamental principles governing adoption kept the child’s best interest to be of paramount consideration and gave preference to place a child in adoption with the Indian citizens. It also made it clear that a child eligible for adoption included an orphan, abandoned or a surrendered child. Every child was legally free to be given in adoption once the committee so declared. The state was required to ensure all the needs of a child were met and basic human rights were fully protected

The ruling came in a case where sub registrar of documents refused to register the adoption deed by relying solely on a provision of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, which said a mother/natural guardian could give the child in adoption only after obtaining the father’s consent

Sibling pair separated by Danish adoption agency in violation of the rules

Just a week ago, Denmark's only adoption agency had to turn the key. But the skeletons continue to tumble out of the closet.

Over the course of several months, Danwatch has dug into the workflows of Denmark's only adoption agency, Danish International Adoption (DIA). They can now uncover how the organization has deliberately bent the rules for adopting sibling pairs.

An internal email correspondence that Danwatch has come into possession of shows that DIA did not try to find a solution that could keep a pair of siblings together.

In the email correspondence, an employee from DIA writes several times to a colleague from an African country that they must wait to proceed with the adoption of one child to Denmark until the other child has been adopted to France.

According to international conventions, the act is illegal, as you, as an adoption agent, must do everything you can to avoid separating siblings.

Only people with a Danish passport are heard in the debate about international adoption

Adopting children from other countries to Denmark is over. On 16 January, Danish International Adoption (DIA) announced a complete cessation of their mediation of international adoption, including from South Africa. This decision, based on a series of critical errors in the organization's work, marks a turning point in the national adoption discourse. The debate in recent years has been characterized by self-examination of historical errors in the adoption system. Remarkably, this debate has missed an important voice – namely the countries that give up children for adoption.

The massive failure that has been in the area of ​​adoption in the past must be fully acknowledged, and Denmark should comply with the UN's recommendation for impartial investigations into all illegal international adoptions.

At the same time, the previous failures have made the debate unvarying. In recent years, many have taken notice of the post-colonial structures that characterize the area, and critics view the system of transnational adoptions as a continuation of these structures.

Others grapple with the question of whether international adoption deprives the child of its cultural identity.

The inequality that forms the basis of the international adoption system, as well as the question of cultural identity, is important to keep in mind, but it is paramount that we recognize the regional and social contexts that affect the individual country, and to nuance the debate should perspectives from the countries concerned are included.

Adoption agency delayed adoption. Now pairs of siblings are growing up in separate countries

The recently closed adoption agency Danish International Adoption bent the rules to avoid breaking the convention and ended up separating two siblings. "An assault", assess experts

A pair of siblings only had each other, now they have to grow up in separate countries with a thousand kilometers between them.  

The separation could possibly have been avoided. For many months, Danwatch has investigated what has been going on behind the walls of Denmark's only adoption agency, Danish International Adoption (DIA), which recently closed after several problematic cases. 

Today we can now reveal how, within the last few years, DIA has delayed an adoption, so that the two siblings today have to live a life separately. 

An internal DIA email correspondence in Danwatch's possession shows that the DIA did not work to find a solution to keep the children together after they were informed that the children were to be separated.

American founder of orphanage in Haiti is charged with having sex with minors

A U.S. man who founded an orphanage in Haiti was charged Monday with traveling from Miami to the Caribbean country to have sex with underage children after spending over a decade dodging accusations that he abused minors in his care.

Michael Karl Geilenfeld, 71, who was arrested Saturday in Denver, had even won a multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit in a Maine federal court against an advocate who accused him of sexually abusing boys at his orphanage in Haiti. Geilenfeld had also been arrested in Haiti on the very same allegations that landed him in a Port-au-Prince jail amid the defamation battle —only to have the case dismissed by a judge when some of his alleged victims were a no-show in court.

Geilenfeld is expected to have a detention hearing in federal court in Denver on Thursday, and will later be flown to Miami. A federal grand jury has indicted him on a charge of traveling to Haiti from Miami International Airport “for the purpose of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct with another person under 18.” Geilenfeld is accused of traveling to the country between November 2006 and December 2010, when he was operating the St. Joseph’s Home for Boys in Port-au-Prince. He founded the orphanage in 1985.


The alleged sex-tourism offense, investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI, carries a possible sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

ADOPTION HELL We adopted two brothers, but 8 years later we gave one back – he began to exhibit odd sexual behaviour

The family raised a few concerns about the fact that Freddie told a lot of lies, but were told it was nothing to worry about

FOR most parents the idea of giving up a child is unbearable. But for Ian* and Rachael Meade* it was their only option.

They had dreamed of being parents for years but were unable to conceive and decided to adopt.

So they were delighted when, in 2014, they brought home brothers Freddie, eight, and Finn, four.

But eight years later the fairy tale had become a nightmare and the couple had to make the heart-breaking decision to return Freddie to care.

Despite S. Korea’s low birth rate, babies are still being sent overseas for adoption

SEOUL: Born as Yoon-hwa in South Korea in 1974, she became Petra Zwart of the Netherlands at the age of one.

Her adoptive Dutch family provided a warm and welcoming home to both Zwart and her biological brother, who was adopted at the age of five.

Even so, Zwart recalls finding it difficult to fit in as a child, due to her East Asian appearance being different, “like an ugly duckling”.

She and her brother are among the nearly 170,000 babies that South Korea has sent overseas for adoption since 1953.