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Voice | I'm looking for my child

9 June 2021
Photo: Armine Avetisyan/OC Media.

In September 2019, Haykuhi Khachatryan gave birth to her third child at the Republican Maternity Hospital in Yerevan. The doctors said the baby was stillborn. In the wake of revelations of fake infant death reports and child trafficking, she said she began to believe that her baby is still alive.

‘My baby was born on 24 September 2019, but I didn’t see her. I was told she was dead.’

‘This was not my first pregnancy. I have a 10-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter. There was no problem during this pregnancy either.’ 

‘I was under the influence of drugs during childbirth, my consciousness was numb, I remember the events only vaguely. The doctors told me that my baby's body had been sent for a forensic examination, then that they had dissected it, kept the organs, and dumped the body with medical waste.’ 

‘After I was discharged from the hospital, I immediately called around to morgues and laboratories and found out that there was no information about my baby anywhere. Do you understand? My baby just disappeared.’

‘A few days after leaving the hospital, on 29 September, I went to the police regarding the case. A criminal case was opened according to Part 2 of Article 130 of the Criminal Code, namely: the failure to perform professional duties by medical care and service providers which negligently caused the death of a patient being treated.’

‘I'm not the only one who has lost her child and is looking for it. There are many women who have been deceived into losing the babies or persuaded to give up their babies and as a result, they are looking for their children today. And these women do not just say words. These are proven criminal cases.’

‘It was all over the media two years ago. It was officially announced. The National Security Services issued a statement, according to which, illegal sale of children for adoption by foreigners was carried out from 2016 to 2018 in Armenia. It said that two Armenians had used their contacts in one of the maternity hospitals, in a number of departments, as well as orphanages, and in gross violation of Armenian laws, had organized the adoption of more than 30 children by Italian citizens.’

‘I opened a Facebook page and named it “Armenian Mothers”, which was joined by women like me looking for their children. The group became active after a criminal case on illegal adoption was filed. Mothers in the group talk about cases from different years and describe in detail the circumstances under which the cases took place.”

‘I coordinate the work of the group. They also write about older stories. There are, for example, 50 and 60-year-old cases. For example, I recently received a letter from a sender saying that her grandmother gave birth in 1972. She gave birth to twins, but she was given only one baby at the maternity hospital, being told that the other baby died. The woman then accepted the news and believed it. However, when the illegal adoption scheme was revealed, she, like many women, fell into doubt.’

‘There are also success stories in our group. We have a case when a boy born in 1995 found his mother. There are many posts, including emotional ones in which a mother simply claims that she is sure her child is not dead, but for that, she needs a fact-based justification.’

‘I am a computer engineer by profession, but I’ve decided to change my profession. I am studying law now. I want to become a good lawyer and I feel I will succeed. Over these two years, I became so involved in law that I have even developed a little legal experience on my own. I look forward to becoming a qualified professional in order to be useful to parents who lost their children.’

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