It’s the mass kidnapping you have never heard about, and now the families of those children may finally get answers. In response to the horrific kidnapping of thousands of mostly immigrant children to be placed for adoption, Israel is responding with new legislation today allowing adoption records to be opened.
The Times of Israel reports, the Knesset, Israel’s legislative branch passed this legislation is a response to outcries of families who were affected by the Yemenite Children Affair which occurred between 1958 and 1970. Many of these kidnappings occurred in hospitals and most of these families were told their children had died.
The article notes that over 1,000 children were kidnapped from Israel hospitals. Most of these children were Yemen immigrants. Many state officials have previously denied the state’s involvement or denied the kidnappings altogether. This bill is one of the first acknowledgments that the affair did indeed tragically occur.
Times of Israel earlier reported that 400,000 documents related to the Yemenite Children Affair had been declassified in December of 2016, the first step in giving families the information for which they have been waiting.
The article also quotes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said of the initial declassification, “Today we right a historic wrong…For close to 60 years people did not know the fate of their children, in a few minutes any person can access the pages containing all the information that the government of Israel has.”
The opening of the adoption files may finally give some closure to those who suspect their family members were taken and placed for adoption. It will also allow children who were adopted to find out if they were in fact taken from their birth families.
Jewish Press quotes a member of the Knesset, MK Koren as speaking of the new bill stating, “ Throughout the years, the families’ demand has been simple. Let us open the adoption files and find out the truth. This is an elementary demand and it is finally being fulfilled. The cries of mothers and fathers, endless protests, and commissions of inquiry, are finally being heard here in the Israeli Knesset. This is another step on the way to resolving the matter, along with other actions designed to provide answers to the families.”