- Title: THAILAND: 'BABIES FOR SALE' RACKET EXPOSED IN BANGKOK.
- Date: 23rd May 1977
- Summary: 1. CU Newspaper headlines on adoption racket(2 shots) 0.05 2. CU INTERIOR Police station showing Khris Rongsawad, wife and nurses 0.16 3. GV & CU Orphans at play on rings and swings and running after teacher (3 shots) 0.40 4. GV & CU Youngsters eating at long tables (3 shots) 0.53 5. CU Children playing with boxes in classroom 1.07 6. SV Children writing in exercise books 1.18 7. GV & CU Babies in cots being cared for and sitting up (4 shots) 1.47 8. CU Baby sleeping 1.52 Initials BB/1915 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 7th June 1977 13:00
- Location: BANGKOK, THAILAND
- Country: Thailand
- Reuters ID: LVA84E5YFPDLXXXMRD39RY869JBO
- Story Text: INTRODUCTION: The Thai government has cracked down on a racket selling babies for adoption in Europe. Four people were arrested and charged after authorities had discovered 33 babies at a private nursery in Bangkok. Almost immediately afterwards, a man who had 10 babies in his care was detained in the north-eastern province of Ubon Ratchathani. News of the discovery aroused strong feelings throughout Thailand.
SYNOPSIS: Bangkok newspaper splashed the story with big headlines and pictures. Among four persons arrested in Bangkok were Kris Rongsawad and his wife, Kulawan, owners of the nursery where the infant were found.
The couple were charged with illegal possession of minors for profiteering purposes, and with engaging in a business detrimental to society. The couple reportedly admitted they hoped the children would made them richer, but denied that their actions were immoral. Newspaper stories said the man held in Ubon Ratchathani province had claimed he had not planned to sell the children. The Rongsawads contended they had helped children surrounded by their mothers -- prostitutes, unmarried women and impoverished housewives, and that they'd received between 25 and 75 dollars per child.
Two Swedish organisation -- the Society for International Child Welfare and the Council for Inter-Country Adoptions -- had previously recommended the nursery to couples in Sweden. Both bodies had withdrawn their supports for tow reasons -- people in Sweden other than adopting parents had received adoption papers and couples had been granted two children, whereas Swedish law limits them to one.
The babies from the Rongsawad nursery have been moved into a government-run institution and officials are searching throughout Thailand to locate their parents. Police are also investigating a complaint from parents of an eight months-old boy, who was recovered recently, that their baby had been stolen from them. Police said that prospective adopters had come mostly form West Germany and Britain, as well as Sweden. The director of a Bangkok maternity hospital alleged that nurses had helped in the baby trade.
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