Inter-country adoptions come to haunt authorities after three decades

Stanley Pinto, TNN | Jun 7, 2013, 11.11 PM IST

MANGALORE: The inter-country adoptions done in the 70’s have come back to haunt authorities here after three decades. A 37-year-old Indian born German national has lodged a complaint of kidnap, sale and sending her abroad under the guise of inter-country adoption without any proper authority.

The complaints have been lodged against Nirmala Social Welfare Centre Ullal, Salvation Army Bombay and Terre Des Hommes (TDH-Germany) having their local office in Pune.

The German national Claudia Sabitha Gerstner, alias Ida Maria Esther from Munchen, Germany, named the former head of Nirmala Social Welfare Centre and others, as main suspects to have destroyed the records to shield the very same crime committed by their predecessors.

The complaint was filed after Sabitha’s Constituted Attorney Anjali Pawar and Arun Dohle, who work on adoption issues for Against Child Trafficking, failed to get necessary documents and answers from the Centre.

Sabitha was born on September 28, 1975 and was baptized on December 7, 1975. According to her complaint that her mother has been identified as Cecile Pinto based on records maintained with the centre.

According to the Child Study report she accessed from TDH, her mother stayed for five month in Nirmala then was somehow transferred to Bombay, without any authority. As per the Affidavit of one person identified as Ruthbai Teldhune, I was admitted a Salvation Army Bombay sometime in 1976. But it is not even mentioned that I was born in Mangalore and was ordinarily residing there. Then I was given into guardianship for the purpose to be adopted in Germany by Herbert Gerstner vide Guardianship Petition No. 307 of 1976 in the Bombay High Court. The only conclusion is that I was removed from the jurisdiction of the Mangalore Courts, without any legal authority or permission, just to facilitate my export abroad for monetary considerations. Further there is no relinquishment document to be found anywhere, which leads to the logical conclusion that I have been kidnapped from my mother, the complaint to Ullal police states.

Ullal PI Madan Goankar said: We have received the complaint and are conducting investigations. An FIR has not been lodged as it is 30 year old case and there is no Prima facie evidence as of now.

Sabitha said: Finding biological mother is important for me to fill in the void in my life