Sweden launches adoptions inquiry after kidnapping reports of Chinese children

Swedish Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The government of Sweden will start an investigation into the adoption of children from other countries, in particular China and Chile, during the last 70 years to verify irregularities in the processes, after receiving reports about the possible theft and kidnapping of minors.

The Local Sweden writes that according to Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren, a commission has been created to investigate more than 60.000 international adoptions from 1950 until the present. “The investigator will examine whether irregularities occurred regarding the countries from which most adoptions took place, as well as the countries where there are strong suspicions that there have been irregularities,” Hallengren told reporters.

Swedish media have over the years reported how children have been adopted using falsified adoption documents, mothers who had their babies erroneously declared dead at birth, as well as forced adoptions, kidnappings, and stolen children.

Children adopted to Sweden since the mid-1900s have primarily come from South Korea, India, Colombia, and Sri Lanka but more than 4000 children have also been adopted from China. 

According to an investigative report by Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, the children being adopted from China are often babies who Chinese authorities say have been abandoned by their parents but several adoption scandals have emerged in China. The scandals include the abduction of children allegedly born in violation of population control policies and then trafficked by officials into adoptions worldwide.

Sweden will formally appoint Anna Singer, a professor of civil and family law at Uppsala University, as head of the adoption inquiry and she will submit her conclusions in November 2023, the Local Sweden writes. 


About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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