Terre des Hommes responds to adoption story in Trouw

In response to the article today in the Dutch national newspaper Trouw about the possible involvement of Terre des Hommes in illegal adoptions from Bangladesh in the seventies, Terre des Hommes wants to emphasise its appreciation for ex Terre des Hommes employees making their voices heard. Terre des Hommes is looking into the matter and is in contact with the adoptees.

Diffuse situation

Terre des Hommes appreciates that former employees as Elly and Mart van den Berg step forward to provide a better understanding of what happened concerning intercountry adoptions from Bangladesh forty years ago. Currently Terre des Hommes searches for all relevant information within the organisation that can provide clarification about the diffuse period back then.

Accommodating children in their own country

It has always been Terre des hommes’ aim to accommodate orphans or children who cannot be raised within their own family within their native country and to help them build a future for themselves.

Assistance with adoption

At that time, the Stichting Interlandelijke Adoptie (SIA), later BIA (the predecessor of the NICWO/Wereldkinderen), organised teh formal adoptions from Bangladesh. SIA used the local office manager of Terre des Hommes in Bangladesh as a contact. If children of Terre des Hommes projects were adopted, sometimes Terre des Hommes staff provided an escort to the Netherlands.

Dismissal office manager

In the late seventies rumors started to go around that an office manager would abuse his position at TDH. After legal proceedings on adoption fraud were initiated against him, TDH terminated his contract in 1982. TDH is currently trying to obtain all possible information and documentation from the 1976-1982 period to further assist the adoptees concerned in their search for their biological parents. Terre des Hommes is in contact with them.

 

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