When a child is born, the biological parents will subscribe the newborn under their name. Next to be biological parents, they now also have become the legal parents and therefor they are responsible for the child until he/she reaches the age of a legal adult (as per the applicable laws in the country of birth).
Adoptions can come into place for several reasons. For example, when a child is facing a difficult or maybe even a dangerous situation in the household where he or she lives, the situation can come under the attention and care of of the country’s “child protection authority”. In Chile this is known as SENAME (Servicio Nacional de Menores). When this authority decides that the situation is not getting any better for the minor, it can be escalated to court so that a judge has to decide what will happen with the minor.
The judge can decide that the minor will be better off in an other family or can even decide for the child to be adopted. This would be in the basic sense by a family who will take care of the child and give it a good and solid future. How this selection process takes place will not be discussed here as there are simply too many variations worldwide however, there are interesting podcasts available today which might be worth listening to. (links to follow)
Once a judge has decided that the adoption of the minor goes forward, then the biological parents will loose their “legal parent-ship ” over the child. The legal parent-ship will be “given” to the adoptive parents through the judge’s order (and only is this possible through a judge’s order). This is what we call an adoption: an adoption which has taken place in a regular form.
When we are speaking about an inter-country adoption, it will also mean that the child, who is about to leave the country, must be completely eliminated from the public system records. In some situations we have seen that on the birth certificate, a notation is available making clear that the child left the country to be adopted in the new country of residence.
It should not be possible for the child to maintain registered in the country of birth as being a citizen of that country.
Getting this story back to what happened in Chile, the situation gets somewhat more complicated. I will do my best to explain why and when we refer to an adoption being “irregular”.
In Chile, the adoption law came into place in the year 1988. Before that time, there was no adoption law and so, those who have been “send” to foreign countries, have actually never been adopted within the borders (jurisdiction) of Chile. Most of us adoptees have been adopted in the country where we went to live. But not in Chile!
So how did it work?
In Chile we were able to leave the country because most of our adoption documents show that we were “abandoned” by our birth mother / family. For those who have the Spanish version of their adoption documents available, you might be able to find the word “abandonado” somewhere written in there. The document I refer to is written by a type writer, usually consists of 2 to 4 pages, and concerns the judges order that decided for you to be adoptable because you were “abandoned”. If that was really the case is a different conversation.
The other word that can be found in your adoption papers is the word “tuición”, which is a form of personal care. This aloud the judge to actually approve for us to leave the country to then be adopted in the country where we went to live. If you look at your adoption documents, look for the following words: “Abandoned”, “Tuición” or “Cuidado Personal”
“Tuición” is a form of personal care but is no where close to be the same as an adoption. Only with an adoption is the legal parent-ship of the biological parents being transferred to the adoptive parents. So therefor for most of us, when the judge decided what would happen to us, it was this form of “Personal Care” that made the way free for us to leave the country.
In Chile, for this reason, we were not adopted. Meaning; that when our birth-mothers were able to register us at the “Civil Register office” (known in Chile as “Registro Civil”), they became automatically also our legal / juridical mothers. When you will try get your birth certificate out of the system of the Registro Civil, you will most likely see that you still exist as a citizen of Chile. Usually with our RUT Number (that can be found on your red coloured chilean passport), and the name given to us by our mothers when we were born.
Reach out when you would like to find out if you are still registered as a Chilean citizen.
This would never be possible when the adoption would have been taken care of in a regular way. Remember, as mentioned before: you should have been completely eliminated from the system in the country of origin. Therefor, when you are able to get your birth certificate out of the Chilean system today, your adoption has been dealt with “irregularly”, which refers to your adoption administratively not being dealt with correctly.
When the judge in your new adoptive country spoke out your adoption by legal order, this order should have been send back to Chile in order to be “legalised” within the Chilean system. As a result most of us would then have been “eliminated” as a citizen from the Chilean “Registro Civil”. But that did never happen…
Hence, this is what we refer to as an “Irregular Adoption”
The adoption becomes illegal when a child is not voluntarily being given away to be adopted by the legal mother. These cases we have seen many times crossing our desks. We are going to dive deeper into this material on an other part of this website but in the basis it comes down to the following:
An example: Alejandro Quezada, founder of CAW, had the situation that he was declared dead towards his mother. This way they have been separated from each other. There was never a Certificado de Defuncción (death-certificate) created , never was a little corps shown to his mother and she was forced to sign documents that she did not understand. She was told that these were documents had to be signed to confirm that she indeed had a child who passed away.
Fact is, that Alejandro was not dead of course. He was separated and declared dead under circumstances which were very far from the truth. He is one of many children that got separated in this way from their mothers. The documents that aloud Alejandro to leave the country show that his mother voluntarily gave him up to be adopted abroad. This is when we are speaking about an illegal adoption.
In short, if the official and legal documents of the judge that decided for Alejandro and many other children do not coincide with the version of the mother, than the court is lying about the actual facts which makes it illegal. Simply because it is not based on the truth. Alejandro together with thousands of other children were made falsely “stamped” to be abandoned and were therefor made “adoptable” and were able to leave the country.
Not only is it illegal, it is in fact a violation of Human Rights. And exactly this is what is now being investigated in Chile by judge Mario Carroza and Jaime Balmaceda.
YOUR ADOPTION: REGULAR / IRREGULAR / ILLEGAL ?
We have had many questions from adoptees who are following the work we do and ask us if we can help them finding out the details about and behind their adoptions. Was it regular? Because their papers say that their mothers have abandoned them, voluntarily or not, documents state that a judge signed for them to be adopted abroad so all looks legal and binding.
This is where the big challenge lays within our work. We have seen many documents and all have something in common. Little did we know, today in Chile there are various groups of people who are actually representing the mothers and families who have lost a child due to an adoption.
But why do we say “lost a child” ?
In the 1970s up to the 1990s there has been a wave of children leaving the country to be adopted abroad. Adopted abroad because in Chile we had no adoption law until 1988. (Read more about that here ) So here in Chile we have not been adopted. Many mothers have never signed or agreed to their children to leave their sides which makes it illegal, abusive and a violation of Human Rights.
In Chile we have seen situations that children have left the country after being declared dead towards their mothers. This is an operation that has simply been a very lucrative activity in which the complete Public System of the country had their involvement.
THE PUBLIC SYSTEM EXPLAINED (BUT NOT LIMITED TO)
- Hospitals and their staff
- Social Assistants
- Notary offices
- Register Office (Registro Civil)
- Child Protection Authority (SENAME)
With this information on hand, it is easier to understand how our adoption papers came to be. When you know that children were declared dead towards their mothers right after being born in the hospital, you can also understand that from that point, with the public system involved, it has been the judge who has approved and signed for the child to be send away to be adopted abroad. And so the circle is round.
READ HERE TESTIMONIALS OF MOTHERS WHO LOST A CHILD
READ THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION REPORT OF MARIO CARROZA AND HIS TEAM (ENGLISH)
Until today we know only very view adoptions in which the mother didn’t want to take care of the newborn child and actually distanced herself from the newborn. Of course, also here we have to take into consideration that there are many variations. But we have seen that this especially occurred at the higher class of Chile’s population. Women who did have a pregnancy which was really unwanted.
For the rest of the situations we have seen the following similarities in the operations of the subtraction of minors in Chile.
MOTHERS / FAMILIES WHO’VE LOST A CHILD SHARE THE FOLLOWING SIMILARITIES:
Mothers / families who:
- were living in poverty
- couldn’t read or write
- lived in the countryside
- were (physiologically) less capable to defend themselves
- were under 18 years of age
- were vulnerable on other levels
Or a combination of the above mentioned items. There are more varieties but these are the most common ones we came across with in our research.
OUR ADOPTION PAPERS
Our documents which we have received as adoptees show also similar details. All the documents which we have been able to look at show at least:
- We have been put as “foundling”
- We have been abandoned voluntarily, unable to take care of us
- Abandoned for economical reasons (poverty)
- Abandoned as unable to live in the home-situation of the mother
- Abandoned because we were “unwanted”
- Abandoned because we would be a “product of rape”
- Abandoned because our mother was a prostitute
Among other reasons as mentioned in our adoption papers.
PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER
The reasons why we have been send away to be adopted are stated in our adoption papers. However, we now know that this information is not close to be correct because our mothers in most cases have never agreed to be separated from us. This is what we refer to as the Illegal Adoption. Today in Chile there is an extended criminal investigation going on and this part of Chile’s history is referred to as “Illegal Adoption and Child Trafficking”
- “Illegal” because our adoption papers are false, not based on the truth.
- “Trafficking” because we have been sold. People have gotten very wealthy due to these operations.
Today we of CAW are working together with the PDI. This is the abbreviation for Policia de Investigación de Chile (which is the equivalent of the FBI in the USA). Because almost all of the adoptions we have seen so far are illegal adoptions. Mothers who have lost their children are finally being heard and can now send in their official complaint through the PDI in their village or city where they live.
Judge Mario Carroza has opened a special case number through which the official complaints can be submitted. Any mother or family member who wants to submit the claim towards a child who has been “taken away” under the most strange circumstances, this case number is the way to go: 1044-2018. This will directly be submitted to the office of Mario Carroza and his team.
WHO CAN SUBMIT AN OFFICIAL COMPLAINT OF AN ILLEGAL ADOPTION?
- Mothers who have lost a child
- Relatives who have lost a family-member due to an illegal adoption
- The adoptee who has been victim of an illegal adoption
Anyone who wants to be involved and wishes to submit an official complaint can get in contact with us for further guidance.
Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT CHILEAN LAW SAYS ABOUT THE INSCRIPCIÓN DE NACIMIENTO
The registration of birth is regulated by Law No. 4,808, on Civil Registry and Decree with Force of Law No. 2.128, of August 30, 1930, which contains the Organic Regulations of the Civil Registry, with the amendments of Law No. 19,585. Its text was consolidated, coordinated and systematized by the Decree with Force of Law No. 1 of the Ministry of Justice of 2009.
THE APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF THE BIRTH CAN BE EITHER VERBALLY OR IN WRITING.
Article 28 of Law No. 4,808, on Civil Registry, states categorically that within 60 days from the date on which the birth occurred, registration must take place.
"Within the term of sixty days, counted from the date on which the birth occurred, the registration of the newborn child must be made, at the verbal or written request of any of the people indicated by the following article. "
ACCORDING TO ARTICLE 29 OF THE LAW, THE FOLLOWING PERSONS ARE REQUIRED TO REGISTER THE BIRTH:
- The father, if he is known and can declare it;
- The next relative over 18 years of age, who lives in the house where the birth occurred;
- The doctor or midwife who has attended the birth; or, failing that, any person over 18 years of age;
- The head of the public establishment or the owner of the house in which the birth occurred, if it occurred in a place other than the parents’ room;
- The mother, as soon as she is in a condition to make said declaration;
- The person who has picked up the abandoned newborn; Y
- The owner of the house or the head of the establishment within whose premises the “exposure” of some foundling has been made.
In addition, the registration of the birth of a child may be required within 30 days after birth, only by the father or mother, by themselves or by proxy. After this period, the other persons indicated above are obliged to request such registration.
THE BIRTH CERTIFICATES MUST CONTAIN, IN ADDITION TO THE INDICATIONS COMMON TO ALL REGISTRATIONS, THE FOLLOWING.
- Time, day, month, year and place where the birth occurred;
- The sex of the newborn;
- The name and surname of the child, which indicates the person who requires the registration; Y
- The names, surnames, nationality, profession or occupation and address of the parents, or those of the father or mother who recognizes or has recognized him. The names and surnames of the mother shall be recorded, even if there is no acknowledgment, when the declaration of the applicant coincides with the voucher of the doctor who attended the birth, with regard to the identities of the husband and the woman who gave birth.
IN THE REGISTRATION OF THE BIRTH, THE MOTHER OR BOTH MAY RECOGNIZE THE CHILD AS THEIR OWN.
The Civil Registry Officer must leave a statement, in the birth registration, of the statements that the parents or their representatives make in accordance with No. 1 of Article 187 and the first paragraph of Article 188 of the Civil Code; certify the identity of the applicant and require him to stamp his signature; or, if you can not sign, print your digital print.
Likewise, the Civil Registry Officer must inform the mother or the person who registers a child of undetermined parentage, the rights of the children to claim the legal determination of paternity or maternity and how to enforce them through courts.
In order to request the registration of the birth of a child of matrimonial affiliation, the family’s notebook or a marriage certificate of the parents and a proof of the birth must be kept; that is, a medical certificate. In the event that there was no proof of birth, you can prove the fact of birth, by two competent witnesses, over 18 years.
However, in the case of a child of non-marital affiliation, the persons who are obliged to request it may apply for registration. If the parents require it or one of them, they can recognize it as a child. The fact of the birth is verified in the same way as in the case of the son of matrimonial filiation.
Article 110 of the Organic Regulations of the Civil Registry, states that the registration of births, marriages or deaths of Chileans abroad, will be made in the Registries of the First District of the Commune of Santiago.
The respective consul will send the original documents, duly legalized, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where that authenticity will be certified, and then send them to the Curator of the Civil Registry, so that the latter may order the corresponding registration.
HERE WE WILL EXPLAIN WHAT THE COMPROBANTE DE PARTO IS.
Everyone born in Chile is most likely being born in the hospital due to the laws in the country. Of course there are exceptions but in Chile it is not usual and not supported to have your child being born in your own house (as is the case in some countries in the rest of the world).
When born in Chile you are being registered in the hospital with your name, the name of your mother, the name of your father and two witnesses. Those witnesses are usually family members or in some cases it can be members of the staff of the hospital.
The document created is called the “Comprobante de Parto” (Proof of Birth) and is handwritten. Next to showing the names, it will also have your details about your birth. Like date and time of birth, length and weight and it will show a unique number. This number consists of 11 digits, than a dash, and than 2 more digits after the dash. The last two digits after the dash can also contain a letter.
This document is being used to later register the newborn at the “Registro Civil” (Register Office). This is where a child is being registered as a newborn citizen of the Chilean State and will be registered with the names, dates, the office of registration (city or community) and the RUT-Number.
Because the Comprobante de Parto shows the name of the mother, we at Chilean Adoptees Worldwide often try to obtain this document to find out if it shows the name of the mother an adoptee is looking for. However, often we are seeing no name of a mother which makes a family search more challenging.
COMPROBANTE DE PARTO DOES NOT ALWAYS SHOW THE NAME OF THE MOTHER.
The explanation “why the Comprobante de Parto does not always show the name of the mother” is not very logical. It will start to make sense when we go deeper into the material.
Every person born in Chile has a Comprobante de Parto. Period. You are born. That is where this document comes from. You are rewarded with a RUT Number and so you are a Chilean Citizen. No exceptions.
Since we now know that children have been separated directly after birth, there have been many mothers who have actually been fooled by hearing from the hospital staff that their child was born dead. Never shown a corps, never having received a death-certificate. So these mothers have never had the opportunity to register their child. Never been given the option to realise a Comprobante de Parto and so, also never been able to realise a death-certificate.
But the children in most cases were not dead and have been able to leave the country. How? In order to leave the country you need a passport. Most of the Chilean adoptees have this old red passport still between their adoption documents. This passport shows your personal details, your names, your RUT Number and it shows an address. It shows an image of you and it shows your fingerprint.
This passport is based upon the details that you have been registered with. But by who have you been registered if your mother or family did not register you? It is likely that your Chilean passport in this case shows your name which you continued to live with in the country where you went to. We have seen cases that adoptees who went to Sweden, have been registered in the Chilean Registro Civil, with their Swedish adoptive names!! We have seen the same situations of children who went to Belgium, Germany and Switzerland and the USA.
In that case you have been registered by the people in Chile who have organised your “adoption” and that is why it can happen that the Comprobante de Parto of these people do not show any names of the biological mothers.
However, there are more varieties! We have recently seen a situation in which a comprobante de Parto did not show any names of any relatives. It was even crossed out. So why is that? The child in subject was “stolen” directly after birth. The mother not being able to actually register her child and the people involved in the illegal adoption (because that is what this was) did make sure to make the Comprobante de Parto unusable.
This makes it very hard to find back the biological family when looking for them. There is no record in the hospital papers so where to start? It deserves attention that one of the first places to look for when you start with a family search is to obtain your complete file from the bureau that took care of your adoption in the country where you live in. Lots of information can be obtained from your adoption file. If there is anything there in Spanish, don’t worry, we can help you with that.
Recently we have seen that an adoptee came across the name of his mother mentioned on one of the documents between all the other papers in his adoption file, obtained at the Swedish Adoption Center. There was a document, also a Comprobante de Parto that did show the name of the biological mother. This while the Comprobante de Parto as obtained in Chile did not show anything. No names at all.
So with that information one can imagine that there has a lot of “errors” been going on in these times. Exactly these errors are currently being investigated within the Investigation Commission as set up through the Chamber of Deputies last November 2018. This commission has 90 days the time to see in which part the Chilean State administratively has failed in all these illegal adoptions.
Once in any way the name of a biological mother is found, we see next to the name a RUT Number. A unique number that any Chilean citizen has. This is where the next stage of a family search begins.
WHAT IS A CHILEAN RUT AND WHY DO YOU HAVE IT
A Chilean RUT Number consists of a certain amount of digits and is your identity-number with which you are known with to the Chilean State. It basically contains your identity date, your full name, your gender, your date of birth, place or birth, place of subscription etc.
Al this information is known within the Registro Civil where this information is being stored. Every person born from a Chilean father and mother is a Chilean citizen and will be receiving a RUT Number.
The RUT number will be mentioned on your Carnet de Identidad (ID-Card) and your passport. Within the Registro Civil your RUT Number is also linked to your address and to the most recent image of your face as seen on your ID-Card and/or Passport.
Your RUT Number is the way how you communicate with the State. With this number you rent or buy a house, get a telephone or internet contract and it is even helpful to receive discounts in a supermarket.
HOW IS THIS NUMBER BEING BUILD UP?
In the past, long time ago, when the RUT numbers became to be implemented though the country, it most likely started at number one. But not number 1 as a single number. No: It is in the 1-million range.
For example: 1.000.000-1
So it reflects a number in the million range. a starting number, than a dot, than 3 more digits, another dot than the last three digits being followed by a dash, and finally a number or the letter K. This comes behind the dash.
Today the RUT numbers for children being born are already in the 27-million range.
It does however have nothing to do with the year. It is not that each year there will be a new million range. That would mean that if we are now in the 27-million range, we would have started with RUT numbers 27 years ago. Which is not true. RUT numbers are being used since a much longer period of time.
Here in Chile I have a friend who is called Luis and he has a RUT in the 6-million range. He was born in 1955. My mother has a RUT number in the 10-million range. She was born in the year 1965
I was born in the year 1979 and I have a RUT number in the 9-million range. Huh? Does that make sense? Because my mother is 14 years older than me and has a RUT in the 10-million range?? How can this be?
WITHIN CAW WE ARE ONLY TALKING ABOUT FACTS.
Things we are not sure of we make it clear that it is not confirmed and/or certain. Here is one of those matters:
Speaking with the Migration Authority, they have advised me that my RUT number in the 9 million range, I should be older than my mother and younger than my friend Luis.
However, as per their information there are many people who have a RUT number starting with the 9 because it would have been a “range destined for people who were about to leave the country”. Really??? Well, that is something we are currently trying to find out. We are not sure of this.
When we have news about this, we will update this article accordingly.
WHAT IS THE REGISTRO CIVIL
Servicio de Registro Civil e Identificación is a Governmental office where information of Chilean citizens is being saved and maintained. For all Chileans it is the first place to go when they want to obtain their ID-documents, to register a new born child, when you want to get married, register when a person has passed away. Also when you want to subscribe a vehicle to your name, this is the place where you go to.
Any document that you can obtain that has to do with you as a person can be obtained here. This is your communication with the Chilean State. Here it is known who you are etc. Here is data being kept of your address and an image of you as put on your ID card or Passport.
The head office is located in Santiago in the Street Huerfanos. This is also where the archives are located containing the history of all Chilean citizens. Birth certificates, death certificates, comprobantes de partos and all that has to do from the moment that a person is born until a person passes away.
When we do family searches, we always will pass by the head office in Santiago of the Registro Civil. This is our starting point when we want to obtain the Comprobante de Parto which we discussed in a previous FAQ.
WHAT IS THE “CERTIFICADO DE NACIMIENTO” AND WHAT DOES IT SHOW?
The “Certificado de Nacimiento” is the “Birth Certificate”. Every person born in Chile will have one. It shows who you are: your full name. It mentions where you are born and on which date. It also mentions the name of your mother and father (in the best case scenario) with both their RUT Numbers
This document also shows your own RUT Number. When we do family searches and we are looking for the mother of an adoptee, we start with obtaining the Birth Certificate. When the mother is indeed mentioned on the birth certificate, it makes the search more or less “easy” There are also situations that the mother is mentioned with her name but not with her RUT Number. It is simply missing. So this is one of the discrepancies that can occur.
Another discrepancy that we see is that there is no mother or father shown. That is when the challenge really starts. Because this has usually to do with a person who as a child has been adopted in an irregular way.
More information in the item: Family Search
WHAT IS THE DOUBLE IDENTITY ISSUE AND WHY IS IT A CHALLENGE
THE SITUATION OF HAVING TWO IDENTITIES AND TWO NATIONALITIES, WRITTEN BY ALEJANDRO QUEZADA BASED UPON HIS OWN LIFE EXPERIENCES
This might not be applicable for everyone since the irregular adoptions went in different ways as we recently learned.
I will explain the following items:
- How adoptions should go in order not to continue life with a double identity.
- Where my “two identities” come from.
- Chilean nationality under Chilean law
- The effect for any children you might have
- The difficulties someone faces once he/she decides to continue life in Chile (like myself)
A child who got adopted and went to a different country should be “deleted” from the Register office administration so that the child will not show up anymore as a citizen in the country of origin. A note could be made next to the original name that the child has continued life at the country of destination with the new name. This way the child is simply not in the country of origin anymore and when it would come back one day to the country of origin, he or she would arrive as a tourist.
In my personal case, I was declared dead towards my mother but of course I am still alive and no death certificate was ever issued for me. During my birth I have been registered as born alive and I received a Chilean RUT Number based on my inscription of my Chilean name. I. Alejandro Quezada Quezada (my father didn’t recognize me so I have two times the last name of my mother)
For Chilean law I was put under “personal care” and NOT under Adoption (Chile had no adoption law those years). Here is the challenge:
Once arrived in the Netherlands my adoption family gave me a new name to their likings and I received the family name of them; totally different from my Chilean names. On top of that, I received the Dutch nationality by the immigration office due to the adoption that took place in the Netherlands. And there I was: living in NL under my new name and new identity.
Little did I know; at some point in life, being 30 years of age, I found out together with a friend I made in Chile, that my Identity in Chile still existed. And this only came to light because we were speaking about my adoption. I send him a copy of the Chilean passport I came to the Netherlands with in the year 1980.
He looked up the RUT number and there it was; I was still an active Chilean citizen with my Chilean name. Nothing was deleted from the system.
So I found out that I was still a Chilean citizen like any other person living here. There is no difference. I can rent a house, buy a car (for that you only need your id-card), have a job, start a company, vote, etc.
In Chile however there is no notice of my Dutch Nationality. It’s almost like having disappeared into oblivion. Chilean state does not know that if I show my Dutch passport, I am Chilean. Because it says: “Nationality: Dutch”. The only thing that it mentions is Paillaco as my place of birth but that’s it. My Dutch identity does not exist here. There is no link. Period.
So when someone decides to go and live in Chile and takes with him or her a partner and their children they have together, you will get into serious challenges.
Let me explain this:
First of all it is important to know that there is a second way one obtains automatically the Chilean nationality. That is when one is born outside Chile and the parents, or at least one of them, has the Chilean nationality.
Children who were born for example in the Netherlands and thus on Dutch soil, from a Dutch parent, no matter mother or father, both having the Dutch Nationality, their children are simply Dutch.
But they also have the Chilean nationality because for the Chilean law, being still an active citizen, born outside Chile of a father / mother who has the Chilean nationality: by Chilean law those newborn children are Chilean citizens too!!
But when you get to the point of obtaining the RUT Number for your children, there is no way to do this because in my case: on their birth certificates, which were Dutch, because my children were born in the Netherlands, I am being mentioned with my Dutch name as their father. As the Chilean identity does not exist in the Netherlands, there is no way you can tell you are the same person. That person with that identity (while you are the same person) is legally not recognized by Chilean law because there is no connection between those two identities. So here in Chile the children are NOT your children and your partner is simply without a connection to you.
Thanks to the irregularity of the adoption and not being eliminated from the Chilean System.
I obtained my Chilean ID card in 2013. That was the least of all the issues so with my Chilean citizenship I am totally welcome here in Chile. However, we entered the country in 2014 with our Dutch passports and since we could not arrange for our children and partner to have them registered as Chileans, we were illegally in this country for almost four years.
This is something for which no law exists yet. That is actually what CAW is trying to change. Because Chilean migration authority knew we were in the country illegally and they knew that they can not just throw us out because I am officially a Chilean and the children that are with me are connected to me. So they left it alone, because there is no law applicable to this situation and no one really knew what to do and how to solve this. Until today this remains a very challenging situation for many of us.
HOW TO OBTAIN YOUR PASPORT AND/OR ID-CARD WHEN IN CHILE
As we were all born in Chile, and most of us will still be having their Chilean citizenship until today. There are always accessions so also in this matter, we have seen people who actually do not have the citizenship anymore. It was erased. If that makes the adoption regular is too sophisticated to just write down like that. There are many variations in this item.
Most of us though will be able to obtain their ID-Card / Passport. How do you do this when in Chile?
You would have to go to the Registro Civil. (Register Office). You will have to print out your birth certificate first. It needs to be the version which is “valid for all formalities” (para todo trámites). It does come with a cost of aprox 700 Chilean Pesos. That is around €1,-
With this document you can go to the office, show it and have your identity documents obtained. You should receive it within 5 working days. Not much longer than that. Once obtained, you are eligible to do any kind of formalities. Like find yourself a job, rent an apartment, contract internet for in your house. Anything.
Congratulations: You are an official Chilean citizen.
HOW TO OBTAIN YOUR PASPORT AND/OR ID-CARD WHEN OUT OF CHILE
When you are living in whichever country on the planet, the Chilean Consulate or Embassy is the place to go. Once inside, you are finding yourself within Chilean Jurisdiction. You are basically on Chilean soil. There the laws of Chile do apply.
You can pull a birth certificate out of the system there for which you will have to pay. Like 700 Pesos (aprox €1,-)
As this costs money, you will most likely be able to pay with your credit card if you have one. Other gateways like Paypal are not supported through this portal!
The consulate or embassy will than help you further with obtaining your Chilean ID-Card and or Passport.
TRAVELING WITH YOUR CHILEAN PASSPORT TO CHILE. CAN IT BE DONE?
NO !! WHY NOT ??
When obtained your Chilean passport through the embassy you are in the situation of being a citizen of Chile. But what is the challenge when you want to be traveling to Chile with this specific passport? well, you can’t.
When traveling from a country to another country you are going to need to travel with the citizenship of the country you are leaving from. Your Chilean ID does not have a citizenship in the country where you live in so that means that when you want to leave the country, you will be stopped at customs, going to have to reply to the question: Where does this passport come from. When did you enter the country and how is it that you never migrated with this Chilean Citizenship into the country?
Remember that due to your adoption you have obtained the nationality of the country where you went to live. You have most likely obtained the family name of your adoptive family and so the Chilean citizenship that you came into the country with has been deleted. You have become a citizen of your adoptive country.
So be very aware that you will never be able to travel with your Chilean passport to Chile from the country where you are living. Your Chilean citizenship is not linked to your newly obtained citizenship.
This is the problem that we call “the double identity” which we have unluckily obtained due to our irregular adoptions.
So your Chilean citizenship does not exist in the country you wen to live in. Leaving you only as a citizen of the adoptive country you live in and therefor you are never going to be able to travel from that country to Chile with your Chilean passport. It is impossible.
Anyone who tells you that you can, even though it is the embassy, let them call with CAW !
CHALLENGES WHEN OBTAINING YOUR ID DOCUMENTS THROUGH THE EMBASSY / CONSULATE
When speaking with several adoptees recently, in this case, Belgium, it came to our attention that there is a very important item to stress out to all of you when going to request your ID-card or Passport outside Chile.
Jessica, our representative in Belgium, recently contacted me because she had a question while being at the Chilean Embassy in Brussels: “Which names do I have to fill in on my ID-card and passport?” Well, it’s simple: On your Chilean ID-card and passport you want to have the details as per your Chilean birth certificate which you are most likely to have or can simply obtain by entering www.registrocivil.cl and enter your RUT-number as mentioned in your passport, the old red one you left Chile with.
Click here to read the manual how to obtain your birth certificate
But apparently this was not so simple because Jessica was being given a choice: “Please fill in the following document and state the details you want to have on your ID-card and passport.”
SO YOU CAN CHOOSE…?
How is this possible? You are born with a RUT number and due to our adoptions having being handled irregularly, we still have the Chilean Citizenship. Which means that your RUT number you are born with is the one you want to have on your ID-card and passport.
Recently I have had a meeting in Santiago with our Chilean adoptee Alejandro Lagos Sandoval, who was visiting Chile. He wanted to meet up because he had some questions about his Chilean identity. We have been able to clear some items up but there was one item that really surprised and also upset me. Because Alejandro had the same question asked when he applied for his Chilean ID-card and passport.
Little was known at that moment and so he has now ended up having a Chilean ID-card, being a Chilean citizen with his two last names of his Belgium father and Belgium mothers as his official last names here in Chile! On top of that, his RUT-number with which he was born has been completely eliminated and he has now a RUT number in the 25-million-range. A brand new RUT number with a brand new identity. Just like that.
Personally, I have a difficulty understanding this process because with your original RUT Number you are going to request your Chilean ID-card. Alejandro Lagos has now ended up with an even bigger challenge because his name might be close to his Belgium name… But in Belgium they do still not accept the system of having two last names and so his Belgium ID remains different from his Chilean ID.
SO, THE PROBLEM IS NOT SOLVED !
What has to happen in order to solve this? Does Alejandro Lagos need to make even more changes in his name and pay for that too? While the error is not his fault?
Chilean embassies are known of their involvement in illegal adoptions. We have seen it in adoption documents crossing our desks. Is this a way to erase traces? What do we have to think of this?
Time for answers and constructive talks!!! We will be going to talk with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who is responsible for the embassies abroad, and the Sub-Secretary of Human Rights. Make it very clear that the damage already done to Chilean Adoptees, who are Chilean citizens, has to stop.
Being an adoptee can come with challenges over time. We have contact with many adoptees who were born in Chile and have a life far away from the country they were born in.
We are very aware of being granted with two families. One being our adoptive family, the other being our biological family. (Where the juridical difference is you can read here)
Many of us today are wanting to know more about their biological family. Many are looking and there is a group of people who have actually been able to find their family back. This comes with challenges of course because most likely once connected with their families, the language has most likely been a barrier.
More about this matter and the CAW commitment you can read here
Sometimes there are difficulties in finding back the birth family of adoptees. We do receive more and more questions if we can help with family search. Since CAW is a Chilean based NGO, we can actually help with your search however, we are not specialists in this. Our network is being build up and every day it grows. Although it is very powerful already, we are not yet there where we would like to be.
However, the growing demand to help finding families for adoptees can not be left untouched so we are speaking with many organisations who are having their network build up already and we are trying to make many connections in order to help people with their search.
Because everyone must be able to be in contact with their birth families. It is a simple and basic Human Right
Today we are in contact with the SENAME, the Child Protection Authority of Chile, to see how they can help in finding parents back. We have very good and strong connections with the working team of the PDI (the Chilean equivalent of the American FBI) who is also trying to do their part with verifying addresses of mothers and families when we have obtained the names and addresses.
But it is also important to know that there are many variations when it comes to family search and the reasons behind our adoptions.
In my very own situation, I was declared dead towards my mother and so we got separated. She has never been shown a corpse, neither being handed over a death certificate.
1. We have seen situations where mothers were not able to take care of the child on a daily base and so they left their children in certain care-taking orphanages. The staff would take care of the child during the day. In the evening after the mother was done working, or sometimes only in the weekends, she would be able to go and see the child. The idea behind this system was that she would be working in order to generate an income to take care of the child. But there are so many mothers who have in these situations actually lost their children. Coming back to the orphanage to find out that the child was no longer there. No further explanation given.
2. We have seen situations that children have been separated when the child was hospitalised. The mother would come around every day to see the child. However when a social assistant, also sometimes referred to as “capturers” would see a vulnerable mother and child, the social assistant would than make sure the child would be transferred to a hospital far away. Thereby creating a distance between mother and child. The mother, unable to travel this distance could all of a sudden no longer visit her child. This creates a situation for the child being “abandoned”. And that was the exact situation the capturers were looking for.
3. We have seen situation in which a mother told us that when she became pregnant, her family, (could be her mother or father) would not be happy with the pregnancy at all and so when the child was born, they would simply take it away and send it to a social assistant to be adopted. This has not even got to do with these parents being involved into the selling of the child. They were not interested in that. They only saw it as a very shameful situation that their daughter had become pregnant and as a result they simply wanted to get rid of the newborn. As soon as possible.
4. We have seen situations where a brother or sister or sister of the mother has indeed been involved in the selling of the child. This might seem as a very senseless thing. But do take in mind that we do not know what situation lays behind it. What makes a close relative decide to actually do this, we might never understand.
5. We have seen situations in which the mother of the pregnant woman was talked into by the social assistant. “You already have so many children and in your situation it is simply not responsible for you daughter to have her child with her in your household”. And so the mother of the pregnant woman was handing over the newborn to the social assistant once born and got maybe a big television for it.
6. We have seen situations that the mother herself was talked into. “How can you think to have this child while you are still so young”. Making use of the vulnerable situation the mother was finding herself in and was about to give birth. Being forced to sign documents. With content she might never have understood the context of. So does that make the mother involved into the adoption? That is impossible to say like that. Under which circumstances has she been signing these documents? This is very complicated material with too many variations to just have a verdict over.
7. Last but not least, we have also seen situations in which the mother herself is actually being accused in the selling of her child. Within the CAW-team we even have a person who is dealing with such a situation which makes her search to the truth very challenging. One of the most challenging situations we have worked with so far.
Important: above mentioned examples are a direct violation of Human Rights. And when this happens systematically we are speaking about a Crime Against Humanity. Read more about this in our article about the Institución Nacional de Derechos Humanos (INDH) (National Institution of Human Rights) in Santiago
We do support anyone who wants to find their family back. We will be making an online form for this. We will need to have your adoption documents. We also do encourage you to obtain them through the official channels, being the organization or institution who has been adopting you in the country where you went to live.
But we do find it important that you understand that family search is nowhere to be an easy task. There are many variations to take into account. It is a slow process because we see many situation in which all connections to the biological families are cut. So the actual finding of the birth family is not something we can guarantee. We do never give up though. If all others say they can’t find anything, than we are still not done with the search.
It is a human right to be connected with your family. Take however into consideration the points being written down in this article. So you can understand that anything can happen. It is never guaranteed that your family wants to know you at the moment you find them. How hard this might sound.
“TIME HEALS ALMOST ANYTHING. GIVE TIME TIME”
WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT
DNA tells you with who you are genetically connected. If you are still looking for your biological family, it deserves attention that one way of getting closer to your birth family can be to do a DNA test.
Here in Chile we stress out to the mothers who are looking for their children that it is important to do a DNA test. Because once an adoptee is ready to go and look for the biological family, we encourage them to do the same. And maybe, just maybe, there will be a match.
DOING THE DNA-TEST
There are many DNA laboratories but the one most used here in Chile (due to the reason that they send their DNA-kits to and from Chile) is called MyHeritage. Through their website you can order your kit. It will be send to your address and once received you can do the test. The instructions are very clear and once done, you will have to send the kit back to the address mentioned on the envelope attached to the kit
When the kit is received by the DNA-Laboratory, it will take some time to be processed. But when the results are ready, you will be notified through the email you have registered with them.
MyHeritage is not the only DNA-Laboratory out there. There are many different ones so in case you have already done your test but at a different lab, don’t worry: there are ways to get your genetical information transferred between the different DNA-labs.
More about this very item and how this transfer works will be informed soon.
The results are always interesting because it shows you a range of people you have connections with through your genetic information. It shows you if you have cousins from the 2nd to the 5th grade and if you have done a DNA-test with your mother, father, brother or sister, they will show up as a connection of the 1st grade.
So in case your biological family is looking for you, and they have done a DNA test, it might just be that they show up as a 1st grade connection once your results are processed and ready.
It can however be that no connection shows up in the first grade. that means that your mother or any other family member did not do any DNA-test yet. In that case, please do not loose hope. Never loose hope!! We are making lots of awareness on all levels here in Chile, and yes, also towards the mother who are looking for their children.
CAW COMMITMENT TOWARDS THE MOTHERS.
We know the situation in Chile because that is where CAW was founded and with good reasons. Chile is on many levels very different to any of the countries where we grew up in. The differences are so big that it is sometimes hard to understand that here in Chile there is actually poverty. It might be the most prosperous country in the South American continent but make no mistake about it, this country certainly has situations in which people have a very difficult situation to get to the next day, let alone the end of the month.
This concerns the most vulnerable people of Chile and it is a sad fact that this part of the population is where many mothers live in today. It is a reality for many of them so do not expect that they can buy a DNA kit just like that. It will never happen. Last year CAW founder Alejandro was doing a presentation about his adoption in Santiago. In the same event there was a DNA kit being given away as a present. The mother who received this DNA-Kit had the same reaction as we would have when we would win a car. Just to put it into perspective.
Therefor we have a donation page created to buy DNA kits and give them away for free to those mothers who are needing them because they will never be able to buy them for themselves. Want to know more about this and how you can donate, please follow the following link. In order to help people getting just a bit closer to finding their families and make a positive change in their lives.
Chilean Adoptees Worldwide has its seat in Chile. The idea was created on the 24th of September and the first website saw its light exactly one month later: 24th of October 2018.
One of the reasons is to build a bridge for Adoptees to follow the actualities going on in Chile today about the irregular adoptions. But it is not only about the investigation teams currently working on that what is referred to today in Chile as “Illegal Adoptions and Child Trafficking”.
We are also connecting with adoptees when they come to Chile. Founder of CAW, Alejandro Quezada lives in Chile. He came back in 2014 due to his illegal adoption and to find out the truth behind it. Today he is helping those who come back to Chile to help them with translations when they meet their mothers and family-members for the first time. Most adoptees do not speak the language. In order not to be sitting opposite to your Chilean family, smiling, not being able to talk about all those questions you have, we feel the need to help out.
CAW builds a new bridge in this field. Helping you to understand your family in Chile is of the utmost importance. Alejandro himself today speaks the language very well. Understanding not only the language and the culture but also the emotions that come with your fist meeting with your biological family. Being able to connect with them he finds to be a basic Human Right.
It costed him 13 years to actually understand his mother and all those histories the mother went through. Alejandro only understood in 2010 that his adoption was illegally dealt with. He was declared dead and not like the adoption papers say: “Abandoned Voluntarily”
It is his task to help adoptees to connect and to help the families to connect with their communication towards their “new family member” who was adopted and lives far a way.
So far CAW (Alejandro) has been involved in some very emotional and powerful family reunions. We can write a book as thick as the bible concerning each reunion we have been involved in. All because the connection which has been made possible due to everything you want to know is being translated
In case you are interested in meeting Alejandro in Chile who can tell you more about the work of CAW in Chile, you can contact him and see how and where he can be of help.