December 10, 2010 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s child protection authorities have traced the biological mother of a six-year-old girl who was suspected to have been sold as an orphan after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, police said Friday. Staff at the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) took custody of the child after neighbours complained that she was a tsunami orphan illegally brought up by foster parents who were ill-treating her.
“We have now found that the child was born two days after the tsunami and the mother appears to have given the child over to this couple in Colombo,” said NCPA investigator Indrani Abeygunasekara.
“We know where the biological mother is living and it is clear that she gave the child over for adoption, but did not follow the legal procedure.”
Local media carry frequent reports of single mothers abandoning newborn babies to avoid a social stigma attached to children born out of wedlock.
Abeygunasekara said the foster parents and the child were taken before a judge who found that the allegation of abusing the child were untrue.
The judge ordered the couple to legalise the adoption of the girl. The NCPA on Thursday appealed for public help to identify the girl’s biological parents