The Chief Prosecutor's Office in the southern city of Adana launched an investigation into reports that babies born at a hospital in the city in the 1980s and 1990s were secretly taken from their parents by suspected staff members who told mothers they had delivered a stillborn.
The claims first surfaced on a TV show where people seeking their biological parents attend. The guests were accompanied by their adopted parents who confessed that they "bought" the babies from the hospital staff. Rumors have already been circulating in Adana for years about the wide-scale baby theft spanning decades and about hospital staff who hid newborns from their parents and gave them to people seeking illegal adoption, often in exchange for payments in a period between 1980 and 1990.
A statement by the Chief Prosecutor's Office said they received complaints from 11 people about the alleged theft and that they would look into hospital records, records of the deceased and interview the suspects.
Zehra Alkaş, one of the complainants, said she delivered a baby in March 1984 but was told that the baby was stillborn. Alkaş said the hospital officials neither gave her the baby's corpse nor the "documents that would certify the baby's death."
"My mother-in-law accompanied me to the hospital. She was the one who spoke to the officials. They told her that they would handle the burial and suggested her to take care of me as I was not doing well after the birth. I always thought the baby was alive because I was never given proper paperwork about his death," Alkaş told Anadolu Agency (AA).