‘I Was Told I Could Visit. Then She Went Missing’: The Bangladeshi Mothers Who Say their Children Were Adopted Without Consent

Thaslima Begum - The Guardian

More than four decades have passed, but Sayrun Nisa still cries for her son as if she lost him yesterday. In 1977, she had been taking care of her child and sick husband at home when there was a knock at the door. She opened it to find two people who claimed they were from Terres Des Hommes Netherlands (TDHn), an organisation that operated in the Dattapara camp for refugees of the Bangladesh war of independence, where she lived.

“They started telling me about a children’s home they were running,” says Sayrun, now 80. “They said they could take care of my son for me and give him a good education. I had no reason to doubt them as they were from what I thought was a respectable organisation.”

Sayrun recalls feeling unsure as she watched her six-year-old playing in the corner. But when she discussed it with her husband, they felt it might not be a bad idea. “My husband had been sick for a while and was unemployed. If we put our son in the home, it would mean that I could find work,” she says.