After 17-year legal battle, German man finds mother in India
A 37-year-old German national waged a 17-year legal battle in India to trace his biological mother, whom he finally met in a public park, news reports said Thursday, DPA reported.
"This reunion has fulfilled my desire to meet my mother, and I am happy to return home," Arun Dohle was quoted as saying by the Mumbai-based newspaper Mid-Day, hours before he flew back to Germany Wednesday.
Dohle was adopted by a German couple in 1973 when he was 2 months old from a shelter for women in Pune, a city in India's western state of Maharashtra.
Curious about his roots since he was 14, Dohle came to India for the first time when he was 20 and asked the shelter to show him his adoption records. The organization refused, and Dohle went to court.
After 17 years in lower courts, the case reached India's Supreme Court, which on August 16 ordered that Dohle should be given access to his adoption records.
From a few handwritten pages in a slim file, Dohle learned his mother was a Hindu woman who was 20 when she had him while residing at the shelter after her friend's brother refused to marry her when she got pregnant, the Times of India newspaper reported.
Dohle declined to name his mother but said it took three months after seeing the records to trace her.
On Wednesday, Dohle spent two fleeting hours with his mother at a restaurant and park.
"I was nervous," Dohle was quoted as saying. "She came with her husband. I didn't know how to ask her if she was my mother, but she held my hand. ... She kept running her hands over my face and hair."
Dohle said they did not talk much because he does not know the Marathi language but she asked him to return to India with his family and stay there forever.
Dohle is married and has twin daughters. He lives in Germany, where he runs a non-profit organization against child trafficking.