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When a child is born, the biological parents will subscribe the newborn under their name. Next to be biological parents, they now also have become the legal parents. Being responsible for the minor until the child reaches the age of being a legal adult as per the applicable laws in the country.
Adoptions can come into place for several reasons. For example, when a child is facing a difficult or maybe even a dangerous situation in the household where he or she lives, the case can get to the child protection authority. When that authority decides that the situation is not getting any better for the minor, it can be escalated to court so that a judge has to decide what will happen with the minor.
The judge can decide that the minor will be better of to be adopted by a family who will take care of the child and give it a good and solid future. How this selection process takes place will not be discussed here as there are simply too many variations worldwide.
Once a judge has decided that the adoption of the minor goes forward, than the biological parents will loose their “legal” part of being responsible for the child. This legal part will be tranfered to the adoptive parents. This is what we call an adoption: an adoption which has taken place in a regular form.
When we are speaking about an inter-country adoption, it will also mean that the child, who is about to leave the country, will be completely eliminated from the public system records. A note can be made behind the name that the child has left the country. But there is no way the child will ever show up again in any register of the country of origin being an official citizen of that country.
Getting this story back to what happened in Chile, the situation gets somewhat more complicated. We will do our best to explain why and when we refer to an adoption being “irregular”.
In Chile, the adoption law came into place in the year 1988. Before that time, there was no adoption law and so, those who have been “send” to foreign countries, have actually never been adopted within the borders of Chile. Most of us adoptees have been adopted in the country where we went to live. But not in Chile.
So how did it work?
In Chile we have been able to leave the country because most of our adoption documents show that we left under a law called “tuición”, which is a form of personal care. This aloud the judge to actually approve us to leave the country. Then to be adopted in the country of our destination. If you look at your adoption documents, this is what you most likely will find back in the text: “Tuición” or “Cuidado Personal”
“Tuición” is a form of personal care but is no where close to be the same as an adoption. Only with an adoption the legal / juridical part of the biological parents is being transmitted to the adoptive parents. In any other case, this “transfer of the legal parent-ship” will not happen. So therefor for most of us, when the judge decided what would happen to us, it was this form of Personal Care that enabled us to leave the country.
In Chile, for this reason, we have not been adopted. Meaning that in case our mothers were able to register us at the “Registro Civil”, they became automatically also our legal / juridical mothers. When you will try get your birth certificate out of the system of the Registro Civil, you will most likely see that we still exist in Chile. With our RUT Number and the name given to us by our mothers when we were born.
This is never going to be possible when the adoption would have been taken care of in a regular way. Remember, as mentioned before: you should have been completely eliminated from the system in the country of origin. Therefor, when you are able to get your birth certificate out of the Chilean system today, your adoption has been dealt with “irregularly”, hence, this is what we refer to as an “Irregular Adoption”
The adoption becomes illegal when a child is not voluntarily being given away to be adopted by the legal mother. These cases we have seen many times crossing the desks of CAW. We are going deeper into the material on an other part of this website but in the basis it comes down to the following: An example: Alejandro, founder of CAW has had the situation that he was declared dead towards his mother. Through this way they have been separated. There has never been created a Certificado de Defuncción (death-certificate), never was a corps shown to the mother and she was forced to sign documents that she did not understand. She was told that these were documents had to be signed to confirm that she indeed had a child which now was deceased.
Fact is, that Alejandro was not dead of course. He was separated and declared dead under circumstances which were very far from the truth. He is one of many children that got separated in this way from their mothers. The documents that aloud Alejandro to leave the country show that his mother voluntarily gave him up to be adopted abroad. This is when we are speaking about an illegal adoption. Not only is it illegal, it is in fact a violation of Human Rights. And exactly this is what is now being investigated in Chile by judge Mario Carroza.