Belgium was shaken by allegations over 15 Congolese children who were kidnapped, taken to an orphanage and put up for adoption by Belgian families after their parents were tricked into sending them to a holiday camp. The investigation was ordered to find out the extent of the child-smuggling network from DR Congo to Belgium, which infamously colonized a region including the present day Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to local Belgian news outlets, children's Belgian families were contacted as part of an investigation and were asked for DNA samples from their adopted children in a bid to trace their biological parents. The DNA demand applies to all Congolese children adopted by Belgian families from November 2013.
"This is a drama. How do you explain such things to those children? Not to mention the pain that real parents must feel in the Congo," Lorin Parys, a Flemish politician with an adopted son, told the Het Nieuwsblad newspaper, as reported by the Telegraph.
The Tumaini orphanage has been closed for some time. In recent years, thousands of African children have been adopted, including Ethiopian and Ugandans.
DR Congo has one of the highest rates of orphaned children. Four Congolese children who had been adopted in Belgium had been falsely declared as orphans, according to reports revealed in 2017. All four had been aged between 2 and 4 when they were taken to Belgium from the Tumaini orphanage in Kinshasa.