Minister on adoption report: It is incredibly serious reading
25 January 2024

A swathe of parties on both sides of the government are calling for a crackdown on the adoption field after a new report reveals identity fraud on South Korean adoptees.

The identity changes meant that South Korean children were on paper orphaned when they were sent from South Korea to their new families in Denmark.

The conclusions in the report, made by the Danish Appeals Board, arouse resentment.

- I think it is quite obvious that the Danish authorities have failed fatally, says Victoria Velasquez, social advisor for Enhedslisten.


- We don't actually know the extent of how big a responsibility they have had in this. And that is some of what we have to drill out, she says.

In order to gain trust in the system, a responsibility must therefore be placed, Victoria Velasquez believes

- It should be the case that we could make demands and control that the children who have been adopted have not been kidnapped.

She says that she will now demand an answer from Social Affairs Minister Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil (S) in the matter.

- This is highly objectionable. That is why we in Enhedslisten are helping to call for a hearing and consultation in the matter, she says.


ASK QUESTIONS about the great adoption theft

Lise Rasmussen and Murugasan Nielsen are two of at least ten children from the same orphanage in India who came to Denmark almost 40 years ago. Several of them came without their biological parents having given consent, DR's documentary 'The Great Adoption Theft' shows.

The two answer your questions together with a legal expert on Monday 29 January at 21:00 on

DF: The area must be excavated

The report looks at adoptions made by the two adoption agencies AC Børnehjælp and DanAdopt in the 1970s and 80s - a period when 7,220 children were adopted from South Korea to Denmark.

The content of the 129-page long report makes a big impression on Mette Thiesen, who is social affairs spokesperson for the Danish People's Party.

- It cuts deep in my mother's heart that some parents have had their children taken from them, and the children have not known that they were wrongfully taken from their parents.

- It is important that you learn from the mistakes of the past so that we avoid history repeating itself. Therefore, I believe that the area of ​​adoption must be fully covered. I don't think that you can open up for international adoption again until this area has been razed to the ground, says Mette Thiesen.


SF: Everything has not been clarified

Also at SF, Social Affairs Commissioner Theresa Berg Andersen believes that the Board of Appeal's report cannot stand alone, and further investigation is needed.

- More is needed than a cover-up of the 70s and 80s on the South Korea part. And I think we should press on with that. Then we have to see which direction the government wants.

- Right now we are faced with a big question mark: What responsibility has the Danish state had in this. These are some of the things that we need to uncover. We will have to have a look at that. Everything has not been clarified, says Theresa Berg Andersen.

In an email, the Danish Appeals Board writes to DR that it has not been the purpose of the investigation to confirm or deny whether illegalities have occurred in the Danish adoption agency.

The board writes that they have chosen to investigate the specific year range because in this period the most children arrived in Denmark from South Korea, and that the period has been highlighted as particularly problematic.

Minster: Punishment will be difficult

There can be no punishment in cases which are time-barred. And these are the cases, says Social Affairs Minister Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil.

- The organizations that existed then, they no longer exist. This means that in these cases punishing will be extremely difficult, because it has been so many years since it happened.

The minister believes that the new report from the Danish Appeals Board is 'unbelievably serious reading'.

- It is completely heartbreaking that it indicates that there are a great many children where permission was never given for them to be adopted.


- When I read the report, it is very clear that things have happened on Danish soil that should not have happened. PERNILLE ROSENKRANTZ-THEIL, MINISTER OF SOCIAL AFFAIRS

According to Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil, the politicians then failed.

- I can read in the report that there are some very serious warning lights where you choose to make recommendations. Politically, one could have chosen to step in a little harder. I think they should have shut down.

The government has set aside 'a significant amount' to investigate adoptions from several countries and over a longer period.

- When I read the report, it is very clear that things have happened on Danish soil that should not have happened, says Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil.

The minister believes that it is too early to conclude whether an apology should be given.