Armed with just a few faded photographs and the clothes they wore as toddlers, three Taiwanese-born Finnish citizens have embarked on a journey that they hope will lead them to their biological parents.
Conny Wiik, 33, was adopted by a Finnish family when he was one year old, but it was not until his daughter was born six years ago that he really started thinking about his blood relatives in Taiwan.
He and two Finnish sisters who were also adopted from Taiwan recently contacted the Taiwanese representative office in Finland’s capital, Helsinki, for help.
However, the search for their roots has proven to be a difficult one, because they may have been among the babies taken overseas in the 1980s by a child-trafficking ring that used forged documents.
The ring, headed by Chu Li-ching (褚麗卿) and her husband, arranged for the adoption of more than 100 babies by unsuspecting families in the US, Australia, Sweden and Finland.
Most of the children were given to the ring by single women or families who did not want to keep the babies.
The ring members created false documents to send the children overseas.
Although Wiik and the two sisters have kept their Republic of China passports and other documents, the papers may be useless in their search.
Wiik, whose name in Chinese is listed as Liu Ming-feng (劉明烽), is not sure that the information on the papers — such as the name of his biological mother — is genuine.
Sabina Soderlund, one of the sisters, came to Taiwan in 2006 with the hope of finding her birth parents, but went home empty-handed.
It turned out that the names and address listed on her papers were forged.
The people listed in her documents as her birth parents turned out not to be related to her.
Soderlund, 34, is believed to be a victim of the human trafficking ring busted by Taiwanese authorities in 1982.
Soderlund and her sister, Belinda, were greeted at the airport by Boris and Maggie Soderlund on May 12, 1980.
The two women’s names as listed on their passports are Fan Man-lun (范嫚倫) and Lin Yu-yun (林玉雲).
Her sister comes from a different Taiwanese family.
Like Wiik, Sabina wondered about her parents and their reasons for giving her up for adoption.
Now her hope is that media coverage will help her find the birth parents whom she has long wanted to meet.