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Second Finnish adoptee finds roots in Taiwan

2015/10/26 19:52:22

Conny Wiik (left) (CNA file photo)

Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) Thanks to the perseverance of police in search of her roots, a woman who was born in Taiwan and sent to Finland for adoption while she was a baby has found her biological father and will fly to Taiwan to meet him in February 2016.

The woman, named Janica Palonen, is the second Finnish adoptee who has succeeded in such a search following her compatriot Conny Wiik, who met his Taiwanese family early this year.

Like Wiik, Palonen was one of more than 60 babies sent overseas in the 1980s by a child trafficking ring that used forged documents to arrange adoptions.

Their search for their biological parents was initiated after another member of the group, Sabina Soderlund, first traveled to Taiwan in 2006 with the desire to seek her roots. Soderlund's case has yet to be resolved.

Police unexpectedly learned about Palonen's case while tracing the backgrounds of Wiik and Soderlund, said a police team in New Taipei on Monday.

The team has been helping the Finnish adoptees locate their biological parents after more than three decades of separation.

With the assistance of the Taipei City Police Department, the National Police Agency, courts, household registration offices and foreign affairs authorities, the team identified a man who was likely to be Palonen's biological father, the police said.

Thanks to Soderlund's help, the team reached Palonen in Finland, who sounded delighted when told she might have the chance to find her roots in Taiwan, the police said.

After a series of DNA-based identity checks and cross-ocean communications, the man was confirmed as Palonen's father.

Once Palonen was informed of the news, she decided to arrange a trip to Taiwan next February to meet her biological father, the police said.

Without revealing any details about the father, the police told CNA that he had to put the daughter up for adoption because of specific circumstance, but they did not say what those circumstances were.

(By Sunrise Huang and Elizabeth Hsu)
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