Here’s a story from the New York Times a couple of days ago. It appears that for many years children were stolen from their parents–mostly newborns. This may have begun as a politically motivated operation (akin to one in Argentina), but it appears to have continued as a profit-motivated enterprise.
There’s nothing to say in defense of this. Clearly enormous wrongs were perpetrated and the reasons don’t matter all that much. It’s an appalling story no matter how you look at it.
I figured I should post it in part because questions of baby-selling/baby-stealing come up sometimes in discussions of surrogacy or use of unknown gamete providers or international adoption. I have been resistant (to say the least) to those characterizations. But it isn’t because I don’t think baby-selling or baby-stealing is possible. This article details an instance where I think the characterizations are warranted. And I bet we are pretty much in agreement about that.
These are also cases where DNA evidence is enormously informative. No one can truly restore these children–now grown–to the families they were taken from. Childhood passes and is lost. But people can learn something of the truth about what happened and that matters, too.