Desi Diaspora Stories

I feel that I have spent a good amount of time trying to find stories of other transracial Indians who were adopted who are in some level of their search and it has been very difficult. For this reason and because I like to feel like I’m being helpful I have created the following list of stories from the Desi Diaspora. I will be honest and say I will probably not maintain this that actively so I apologize if something is out of date or a link fails you (sorry!). This is just what I have managed to come up with since 2012.

Stories of Search from the Desi Diaspora

The Orphan Keeper – Written by Camron Wright – “Based on a remarkable true story of Taj Rowland. Seven-year-old Chellamuthu’s life is forever changed when he is kidnapped from his village in India, sold to a Christian orphanage, and then adopted by an unsuspecting couple in the United States. It takes months before the boy can speak enough English to tell his parents that he already has a family back in India. Horrified, they try their best to track down his Indian family, but all avenues lead to dead ends. Meanwhile, they simply love him, change his name to Taj, enroll him in school, make him part of their family–and his story might have ended there had it not been for the pestering questions in his head: Who am I? Why was I taken? How do I get home? More than a decade later, Taj meets Priya, a girl from southern India with surprising ties to his past. Is she the key to unveil the secrets of his childhood or is it too late? And if he does make it back to India, how will he find his family with so few clues? From the best-selling author of The Rent Collector, this is a deeply moving and gripping journey of discovering one’s self and the unbreakable family bonds that connect us forever.”

This is Where I Belong: A woman’s search for her birth mother – Excerpt from the story, “Looking back, Anusja said she was not upset with her birth mother for giving her up. But she was upset that her mother was forced to make that choice. “I was mad at the world,” she said, “I grew up in a country which offers so much support for vulnerable mothers. There was a system which assured that adoption was often the last resort.”

Given up for adoption at birth, a young woman reclaims her life – Short news story written by Monisha, born in Sawantwadi, Maharashtra in the mid-1980s at a government hospital. Her mother was raped and blamed for the resultant pregnancy. Monisha was taken to  Bal Anand Children’s Home in Mumbai that is run by Sulochana Kalro and adopted by a couple from the Netherlands at 7 months of age. The story is of her search.


World Citizens Blog  – Taken from the blog “My name is A.J. Bryant, a DC resident, adopted when I was one year old, from Kerala, India, commonly referred to as “God’s Own Country,” if only by me…I write about how my adoptee identity colors the way I look at life. I believe that everyone has a life narrative making our human interactions richer, like a many colored tapestry whose threads comprise our individual experiences.” He also has a short podcast which can also be found on the blog called, The Fairy Tale of an Indian Adoptee.

You Follow – Taken from movie website “It’s 2009. Nisha Grayson packs her bags, and with four of her closest friends sets out on a journey from the home she has known for twenty eight years. She travels from Sacramento, CA to her birthplace in Goa India on a quest for answers, family and true identity. YOU FOLLOW chronicles the experiences of an adoptee with a mind full of questions and a heart full of determination. When steps in the right direction lead to forks in the road, when loyalty and commitment come from unlikely strangers – Nisha faces an emotional series of unexpected challenges that test her character.” Nisha also writes on The Adoptee Diary.

Journey to Calcutta -Short news story about a 21 year-old woman journeying back to India to search for relatives. Grew up outside of Portland, Oregon and was born in Calcutta and adopted through International Mission of Hope (IMH).

Daughter of the Ganges – Taken from the book webpage “Growing up in an Indian orphanage, Asha Miró; dreamed that someday she would be adopted. At the age of six, her wish finally came true, but only at the misfortune of another. A Catalan family was in the process of adopting twins when one of the children suddenly fell ill and died — a twist of fate that led the family to adopt Asha instead. Leaving a life of poverty behind, Asha was given a second chance.”

Yasamma and Mariyamma Gedala – This piece by the Hindu times provides a snapshot of a young female adopted from India now living in the U.S. with her family. She was separated from her younger sister when they were both relinquished in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, India. Samantha (Yasamma) has struggled through this separation and has endeavored to try to find her sister.

Jayant van Peperstraten – This is a relatively old story compared to some of the other stories here. This short piece outlines Jayant, 19 at the time, and his desire to search for his birth mother. Jayant was born in Pune, India left by his mother on the steps of the Sassoon General Hospital. He grew up in Holland and at the time of the writing of this story was in Pune searching for his birth mother. He is determined, hopeful and driven by a strong internal conviction to reconnect with his birth mother.

Facebook Groups

  • Roots Search India
  • Transnational Adoption Genetic Ancestry (TAGA)
  • Connected Indian Roots
  • Adoptees From India
  • Adopted From India
  • Indiasporas

Other Resources

  • Against Child Trafficking (ACT)
    • Since 2008, ACT (Against Child Trafficking) provides the evidence that inter-country adoption is a legalised form of child trafficking. ACT is critical of the Hague Adoption Convention as it results in a legalised market in children (see Perverse Effects of the Hague Convention).