23 January 2006

Tristan's Irish dad to pay for him until age 18

Sunday Tribune

**Via Newshound

Kevin Rafter and John Burke

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WICKLOW accountant Joseph Dowse is to provide funds for the future care of his adopted son, Tristan, the boy he abandoned in an Indonesian orphanage in 2004.

Joseph Dowse is understood to have travelled from Azerbaijan in recent weeks to deal with Tristan's financial future after the matter was pursued by the government.

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It is understood that Dowse will now make money available for Tristan's upkeep and education until he is 18 years old, although the precise financial arrangements still have to be worked out.

"We were very happy with the outcome, " one government source said. Dowse's solicitor declined to comment when contacted this weekend by the Sunday Tribune.

Tristan, who will be five in July, was 'sold' as an infant by his birth mother to an Indonesian 'baby broker'.

A short time later, he was adopted by Dowse and his wife Lala, who were then living in Indonesia. Two years later, the Dowses returned Tristan to an orphanage outside Jakarta after "failing to bond with him".

The couple subsequently moved to Azerbaijan, Lala Dowse's home country, where they now live.

Tristan's case came to the attention of the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2004. While the boy was born in Indonesia . . . and has Irish citizenship . . .doubts emerged about the legal status of his adoption.

The state is not expected to make any attempt to remove his Irish citizenship, although it is unclear whether or not the Dowses will now proceed with a legal action to have the adoption annulled.

Tristan was reunited with his birth mother, Suryani, last summer.

She was not aware that her son had been placed in the orphanage by the Dowses. She maintains regular contact with the boy, although he still remains in the orphanage.

Contacts are continuing between the Irish authorities and their Indonesian counterparts, while officials from Sunday Tribune that investigators still wish to speak with Dowse about their investigation into the alleged trafficking of young children.

Police in the Indonesian capital arrested three local women in late 2005 in relation to the trafficking of up to 60 babies. The investigation began after details of the Tristan Dowse case first emerged.

The Sunday Tribune understands that Joseph Dowse is not suspected of any wrongdoing.

The police investigation is focusing on claims that the three Indonesian women were central to a child-trafficking ring which persuaded pregnant women in the povertystricken Ciputat area of south Jakarta to sell their children.

Some mothers were paid around 120 for their babies, with prices in the region of 6,000 being demanded from foreign couples seeking to adopt.

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