About Us

About Us

It all started about 45 years ago:

Bangladesh is still in the ashes of the bloody independent war from Pakistan. As a direct result from this war, many extramarital children are born. Parents struggle taking care of their children properly and may children are living in the streets. Skeikh Mujibur Rahman announces to take care of those children. The Abandoned Children Order is established in 1972. From that moment the first Bangladeshi children were given away for adoption and found their way to the Netherlands. In a time frame of 10 years – from 1974 to 1984 – about 496 children from Bangladesh came to the Netherlands (source: Fiom). The rest of the in total 1400 children adopted from Bangladesh to other countries in those years went to Canada, Sweden, Norway, Denmark.

Despite people’s presumed best interests in saving these children, today we know that many mistakes have been made with adoptions from Bangladesh. Parents have been mislead in giving their children up for adoption. Children from the same family were placed in different families in the Netherlands or other European countries without their knowledge. Only years later – in their adult life – they have been reunited.

Some of these cases are known, but the question remains: how many cases are still to be discovered?

With techniques of today we have more possibilities to find one another and to be reunited. Think about media, internet, social media and DNA tests, there are ample opportunities to start searching again finally find blood relatives.

This is the reason why we established Shapla Community Foundation: to realize a DNA database for all adoptees from Bangladesh in the Netherlands and surrounding countries. So we can find relatives and be reunited.