Denmark’s adoption scandal grows

Denmark’s adoption scandal grows
May-Britt Koed with her adoption papers in Copenhagen, Denmark © Camille BAS-WOHLERT / AFP

May-Britt Koed, a Copenhagen restaurant owner and one of the quarter of a million South Korean babies sent to Denmark for adoption since the 1950s, doesn’t know when she was born.

All the 47-year-old knows for sure is that “I arrived in Denmark on May 17, 1977.”

Koed’s case is far from isolated. The growing scandal over falsified records has prompted South Korea’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission to look at hundreds of cases from the country’s “baby farm” adoption industry during the decades of dictatorship that ended in the late 1980s.

A January report for Denmark’s social affairs ministry found that some adoption agencies, operating under Danish state control, knew their South Korean partners were changing children’s identities in the 1970s and 1980s.

More worrying still, “it’s been documented that letters were being sent from (birth) parents who didn’t know where their children were,” said Marya Akhtar of the Danish Institute for Human Rights.

“And allegedly it looks like they were in the possession of authorities in Denmark,” she added.

Daily Tribune