Over 600 adoptions from Chile to Sweden investigated in 'children of silence' probe

The Local Sweden
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Over 600 adoptions from Chile to Sweden investigated in 'children of silence' probe
In total, thousands of babies may have been taken from their parents against their will in Chile. Photo: Christine Olsson / TT

Hundreds of adoptions took place between Chile and Sweden in the 1970s and 1980s. But many of them may have been carried out against the biological parents' will.


In total, the investigation into potentially illegal adoptions relates to 630 cases in Sweden, SVT Västerbotten reported. That's around a fifth of all the cases being investigated by Chilean authorities, and much higher than the earlier reported figure of 371 Swedish adoptions.

In 2015, Chile named a special prosecutor to begin investigating a list of "irregular adoptions", in which children are believed to have been kidnapped and given to adoptive parents without the biological parents' consent.

The affected adoptees are often referred to as "the children of silence", most of them born during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet between 1973 and 1990.

Many of the people who were adopted as children have called for a Swedish investigation, to look into how the country's courts and social services approved the adoptions.

SVT spoke to a Chilean-born woman who found her biological mother only at the start of this year, after spending her life until then believing her to be dead.

"There are really a lot of us and I think it is awful that Sweden can't meet Chile in this. Of course everything began there (in Chile), but at some point Sweden also got involved and has its own responsibility in this," the adopted woman said.



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