Arun Dohle (b. 1973) was adopted by a German couple from an Indian orphanage. Like many adoptees, he started to search for his roots in his late teens. The Indian orphanage did not want to provide access to his file. Arun addressed the Indian Courts and it took 17 years to finally obtain access to the desired information. That´s how he learned that adoption is not about what is “good” for children, but rather protects the interests of adoption agencies, adoptive parents, and other vested interests.
During his yearlong struggle to obtain his right to know the identity of his mother, Arun teamed up with Indian child rights activists. This was the beginning of his advocacy of children’s rights. Following a major trafficking scandal that came out in 2005, Arun took up the cases of several Indian families whose children were kidnapped, sold to orphanages and adopted abroad.
The media reporting about his own case led many Indian adoptees to contact him. He advised them on their searches and eventually organized searches in India with the help of his Indian network of social workers and lawyers. Arun gave up his job as a financial consultant, while he dedicated his life to child rights and correcting the injustice of inter-country adoption — one case at a time.