Dutch adoption scandal triggers a search for roots in Indonesia

Govt inquiry shows over 3,000 kids put up for adoption in decade until 1984

Ms Widya Astuti Boerma in Indonesia last December during a trip to find her biological parents. PHOTO: COURTESY WIDYA ASTUTI BOERMA
Ms Widya Astuti Boerma in Indonesia last December during a trip to find her biological parents.PHOTO: COURTESY WIDYA ASTUTI BOERMA
Ms Widya Astuti Boerma in Indonesia last December during a trip to find her biological parents. PHOTO: COURTESY WIDYA ASTUTI BOERMA
Madam Suyatni with two of her daughters.

Until a few months ago, Ms Widya Astuti Boerma knew her biological mother only from glimpses of memory.

Some were pleasant: a moment of them both at the sultan's palace in Yogyakarta, for example. But others were jarring, including one indelibly etched on her mind of the family's house ablaze. And then the final one: her mother's instructions at a Jakarta train station to "be a good girl" and go with a woman she barely knew.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month
  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2020, with the headline 'Dutch adoption scandal triggers a search for roots in Indonesia'. Subscribe