( September 21, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The existence of so-called ‘baby farms’ was the most important reason for the Sri Lankan government to suspend intercountry adoption in 1987. At these baby farms, women were impregnated to meet the demand for adoptive children. This is confirmed by Sri Lanka’s Minister of Health, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, in response to the investigation by ZEMBLA. “There were a lot of baby farms back then,” says the minister. “They collected the babies there and sold them to foreigners for adoption.” This is the first time the Sri Lankan government admits the existence of ‘baby farms’. Stories of ‘baby farms’ had previously been dismissed as rumours.
In response to the ZEMBLA findings, Sri Lanka will launch an investigation into the adoption fraud involving thousands of children who were brought from Sri Lanka to the Netherlands during the 1980s. Minister Senaratne also takes the initiative to establish a DNA databank, which children as well as parents can use to search for relatives.