Dutch woman linked at least 3 adult adoptees from Chile to wrong birth families: report
Dutch woman Truus Kuijpers linked at least three people adopted from Chile as young children to the wrong biological family. She wrongly told a fourth that his biological mother could not be found, Trouw reports based on its own research.
Mirjam Hunze told Trouw how Kuijpers introduced her to a Chilean family and how she found out 20 years later that it wasn’t her actual biological family. The newspaper found two other women with the same experience. A fourth adoptee, Miguel Pacheco, paid Kuijpers 1,000 euros to find his birth mother and never heard from her again. According to Trouw, Kuijpers was already in contact with Pacheco’s birth mother when he contacted her - the woman asked Kuijpers to help track down her adopted son.
Kuijpers ran the children’s home Las Palmas in the Chilean capital of Santiago from 1976 to 2000. She also helped adult adoptees search for their biological family, sometimes even calling adoptees or their adoptive parents to offer her services. She charged varying amounts for these services, even though, in some cases, she had to do no more than check her own records, according to Trouw.
Nearly 850 children lived in Las Palmas until Kuijpers transferred the home to a Chilean foundation in 2000. According to Kuijpers, over 120 of these children were adopted to the Netherlands and she helped around 50 of them look for their biological families.
According to Trouw, several Chilean mothers also accuse Kuijpers of illegal or vague adoption. The newspaper spoke to several mothers who said Kuijpers put their children up for adoption in the Netherlands without their knowledge. Some also accused her of involvement in networks that told mothers in the hospital that their children had died.
Kuijpers died in January. Before her death, she denied all the allegations to Trouw. She told the newspaper that mothers are often ashamed of being unable to care for their children and therefore lie about the nature of the adoption. She also denied making mistakes in linking adoptees to their biological families.