Parents of at least five Congolese orphans appear to be alive

Adopted orphan or abducted by parents? Congolese adoptive children must donate DNA

The judicial investigation into adoption fraud among Congolese children and about fifteen Belgian parents is in a final phase. That’s what the Mediahuis newspapers write today. “The investigating judge hopes to complete the judicial investigation in August. We have indications that fraudulent adoption has occurred in five cases,” says public prosecutor Wenke Roggen.

In other words, five children were abducted and offered to Belgian parents as “orphans”. At least three of those five children – the girls Samira, Zakiatu and Jaëlle (all now 7 or 8 years old) – were given a different name and date of birth after their abduction. A DNA test in Belgium on fifteen other suspected abducted children does not yield anything for the time being. “This painful story has completely ruined our lives, that of the biological parents and that of the children,” three of the five Belgian parents react.

The probable central figure of the entire carousel, the investigation shows, is Julienne Mpemba (41), a Belgian-Congolese woman from Namur with contacts in the highest Congolese political circles and the Francophone Community. In old interviews she says that she has given some fifty Congolese children “a new future”. The federal public prosecutor suspects her of human trafficking with child victims. She was detained for months and is now, awaiting trial, free with an ankle strap.