What is Nos Buscamos?
Nos Buscamos is an NGO legally recognized in Chile since 2014. It was founded to support those people born and adopted from Chile and to help them find their origins, history, and biological families. The company mission is to support reunions between families separated by adoptions. These adoptions can be legal, irregular, or illegal, and even involve those trafficked as children. Nos Buscamos orients people in their reunion searches and empowers them along the way.
The Origins of Nos Buscamos
I founded Nos Buscamos in 2014 after finding out that I was adopted at 39 years of age. I also found out that my adoption was illegal. When I started my own investigation to find my birth family, I became aware of the thousands of other Chileans who had also been adopted by illegal means and sent to families in Canada, the USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
As a product of my searches, I created the foundation in Chile in order to help, and also bring to light the reality of more than 50,000 children who have been trafficked. Today, Nos Buscamos has resulted in bringing together an excellent group of volunteers who work together tirelessly and have reunited more than 200 families to date.
How has Adopted.com Supported Nos Buscamos?
Adopted.com has been a huge support of our work helping more Chilean adoptees find their birth families and we have been able to reunite many people by finding matches with the site. Just recently we helped an Italian woman find her family as she knew what her biological given name was. She had written this in the comments section and after a precursory search in our records, we found a match to her birth mother.
Adoption in Chile from the 1960's to the 1990's
If you were adopted in Chile from the late 60's to the early 90's, it is important to know and understand both the political and socio-economic climate in the country during those years. The military dictatorship effectively ended many social programs. Due to the lack of assistance many young mothers found themselves vulnerable to influences from the church and supposedly well-meaning nuns and clergymen. Sadly, when these people in positions of power understood that there was money to be made by arranging adoptions, greed took over and resulted in ,90%+ of the Chilean adoptions being illegal during those decades.
2 Common Types of Adoptions Nos Buscamos Has Identified
In our work at Nos Buscamos we have seen that the types of adoptions can be divided into 2 categories:
- Young girls from wealthy, religious families being forced to give up their newborns—or worse yet, being told that their baby died in childbirth, when in reality the baby was given to another wealthy family from Lima, Peru, USA, Canada, Australia or Europe. We have interviewed adoptive parents that were extorted for up to U$50,000 dollars to adopt a child.
- Young mothers from poor socio-economic backgrounds. Many of these women talk about being coerced into leaving their child at an orphanage or with a caretaker only to find out that their child was adopted to couples outside the country without their consent. Since these women were from the countryside and probably didn't know what their rights were (and in many cases were illiterate), nothing was done about it. For example, thousands of children were adopted to Sweden with this same type of modus-operandi.
Recommended Steps Toward Reunion from Nos Buscamos
If you were adopted from Chile, the best way to prepare to start your search is the following:
- Make a profile on Adopted.com. Write as many details as you can in the comments section.
- Make yourself visible! Create a Facebook page using the name you were given at birth, not your married name etc.
- Reach out to any of your relatives to get the details of your adoption. (Please keep in mind that what you have been told is not necessarily the truth. For example, if you were told that your biological mother left you on the street, this is possibly not correct.)
- Look for any paperwork pertaining to your adoption.
- Do a DNA test and upload your DNA data to Adopted.com.
- Also consider creating a profile on nosbuscamos.org so that one of our volunteers can help you with the next steps.
Future plans for Nos Buscamos
The dream is that all the families who are searching can get access to DNA kits from international laboratories to increase the chances of reunion. Nos Buscamos encourages the various governments involved to work together in a collaborative way with the goal of helping all victims of childhood trafficking.
For those of you who are Spanish speakers, I recommend reading my book: Nos Buscamos: Una historia sobre adopción y tràfico de niños en Chile.
Very best of luck with your searches!