Police asked to help her, she suspects she was a child trafficking’s victim
Chaya Maria Schupp is a 36-year-old resident of Dieburg, 30km from Frankfurt in southern Germany, was adopted by a German couple when she was about 6 years old under suspicious circumstances.
Since 1999, she has made around 25 trips to India, and spent around 25.000 EU ( r.s 18 Lakh) to trace her biological mother and unearth details of her past.Chaya is currently working on a PhD on sex workers in Mumbai as part of an exchange programme between the University of Kassel, Germany and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.
Chaya’s search for her biological mother met a dead-end in 2009 when authorities at the welfare centre refused to show her the relevant records. The centre had a licence for inter-country adoptions but it did not renew this licence. Chaya has asserted she was at this centre when she was adopted and fears that she might have even been kidnapped. Thus she has movedthe Hingh Court.
The support of her lawyer, Jayna Kothary of CLPR, friends, and her adoptive mother, Ingrid Shupp, has kept her going.
Though Chaya says she was born a Hindu in Ullal, there’s a certificate of baptism issued by St Sebastian’s Church, Permannur (Ullal) which states she was baptized on January 15, 1980. When Chaya went there, the parish priest said there were no records about her baptism. Chaya said the baptism may have been done because the German couple who adopted her wanted a Christian child.
Chaya smelt something was amiss and even alleged she may have been kidnapped. “I still feel I may have been a victim of child trafficking. If it was a legal adoption, why are the centre’s authorities blocking my attempts to find my mother?” she asked.
How did they come to adopt her? “We thought she was an orphan and adopted her,” said Ingrid. The couple had three children of their own and also took another child into foster care.