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Being an adoptee can come with challenged over time. We have contact with many adoptees who were born here in Chile and have a life far away from the country they were born in.
We are very aware of being granted with two families. One being our adoptive family, the other being our biological family. (Where the juridical difference is you can read here)
Many of us today are wanting to know more about their biological family. Many are looking and there is a group of people who have actually been able to find their family back. This comes with challenges of course because most likely once connected with their families, the language has most likely been a barrier.
More about this matter and the CAW commitment you can read here
Sometimes there are difficulties in finding back the birth family of adoptees. We do receive more and more questions if we can help with family search. Since CAW is a Chilean based NGO, we can actually help with your search however, we are not specialists in this. Our network is being build up and every day it grows. Although it is very powerful already, we are not yet there where we would like to be.
However, the growing demand to help finding families for adoptees can not be left untouched so we are speaking with many organisations who are having their network build up already and we are trying to make many connections in order to help people with their search.
Because everyone must be able to be in contact with their birth families. It is a simple and basic Human Right
Today we are in contact with the SENAME, the Child Protection Authority of Chile, to see how they can help in finding parents back. We have very good and strong connections with the working team of the PDI (the Chilean equivalent of the American FBI) who is also trying to do their part with verifying addresses of mothers and families when we have obtained the names and addresses.
But it is also important to know that there are many variations when it comes to family search and the reasons behind our adoptions.
In my very own situation, I was declared dead towards my mother and so we got separated. She has never been shown a corpse, neither being handed over a death certificate.
1. We have seen situations where mothers were not able to take care of the child on a daily base and so they left their children in certain care-taking orphanages. The staff would take care of the child during the day. In the evening after the mother was done working, or sometimes only in the weekends, she would be able to go and see the child. The idea behind this system was that she would be working in order to generate an income to take care of the child. But there are so many mothers who have in these situations actually lost their children. Coming back to the orphanage to find out that the child was no longer there. No further explanation given.
2. We have seen situations that children have been separated when the child was hospitalised. The mother would come around every day to see the child. However when a social assistant, also sometimes referred to as “capturers” would see a vulnerable mother and child, the social assistant would than make sure the child would be transferred to a hospital far away. Thereby creating a distance between mother and child. The mother, unable to travel this distance could all of a sudden no longer visit her child. This creates a situation for the child being “abandoned”. And that was the exact situation the capturers were looking for.
3. We have seen situation in which a mother told us that when she became pregnant, her family, (could be her mother or father) would not be happy with the pregnancy at all and so when the child was born, they would simply take it away and send it to a social assistant to be adopted. This has not even got to do with these parents being involved into the selling of the child. They were not interested in that. They only saw it as a very shameful situation that their daughter had become pregnant and as a result they simply wanted to get rid of the newborn. As soon as possible.
4. We have seen situations where a brother or sister or sister of the mother has indeed been involved in the selling of the child. This might seem as a very senseless thing. But do take in mind that we do not know what situation lays behind it. What makes a close relative decide to actually do this, we might never understand.
5. We have seen situations in which the mother of the pregnant woman was talked into by the social assistant. “You already have so many children and in your situation it is simply not responsible for you daughter to have her child with her in your household”. And so the mother of the pregnant woman was handing over the newborn to the social assistant once born and got maybe a big television for it.
6. We have seen situations that the mother herself was talked into. “How can you think to have this child while you are still so young”. Making use of the vulnerable situation the mother was finding herself in and was about to give birth. Being forced to sign documents. With content she might never have understood the context of. So does that make the mother involved into the adoption? That is impossible to say like that. Under which circumstances has she been signing these documents? This is very complicated material with too many variations to just have a verdict over.
7. Last but not least, we have also seen situations in which the mother herself is actually being accused in the selling of her child. Within the CAW-team we even have a person who is dealing with such a situation which makes her search to the truth very challenging. One of the most challenging situations we have worked with so far.
Important: above mentioned examples are a direct violation of Human Rights. And when this happens systematically we are speaking about a Crime Against Humanity. Read more about this in our article about the Institución Nacional de Derechos Humanos (INDH) (National Institution of Human Rights) in Santiago
We do support anyone who wants to find their family back. We will be making an online form for this. We will need to have your adoption documents. We also do encourage you to obtain them through the official channels, being the organization or institution who has been adopting you in the country where you went to live.
But we do find it important that you understand that family search is nowhere to be an easy task. There are many variations to take into account. It is a slow process because we see many situation in which all connections to the biological families are cut. So the actual finding of the birth family is not something we can guarantee. We do never give up though. If all others say they can’t find anything, than we are still not done with the search.
It is a human right to be connected with your family. Take however into consideration the points being written down in this article. So you can understand that anything can happen. It is never guaranteed that your family wants to know you at the moment you find them. How hard this might sound.