"Tales of Stolen Babies and Lost Identities; A Greek Scandal Echoes in New York" - New York Times Article 1996

I just ran across this article and know many of you will be very interested.

Published in The New York Times, April 13, 1996 - by Raymond Bonner


The baby girl, swaddled in rags, was abandoned on the steps of an orphanage in Patras, Greece, with a simple note giving her name (Maria Ioannou), date of birth (Aug. 15, 1955) and a plea that she be fed.

At least that is what official papers say, papers that allowed her to be adopted by a family in Holliswood. Queens.  She arrived at Idlewild Airport aboard Swissair Flight 850 at 9:15 a.m. on Dec. 28, 1955.

Forty years later, Maxine Deller -- she has used that name since her adoption -- says she believes that much of her official past is a lie.  Ms. Deller, a car saleswoman in Queens, is convinced that her natural mother is still alive, that she has brothers and sisters in Greece, and that she was not abandoned at all but was illegally adopted as part of a large-scale baby selling scheme at several municipal orphanages in Greece.


  1. Where are the Greek Parents from these Village's don't they realize their children are looking for them

  2. being i am one of the stolen children i feel i have a right to ask this question having years of searching along with many othter's no avail

  3. To Greek Gypsy - I speak as the daughter of parents that lost a child in this manner. It was a different time - back then authority was not questioned. My parents had their suspicions, but they had no power to do anything about it. It destroyed my mother's mental state - they left Greece for this very reason. I didn't find out the truth until I was 28 and heavily pregnant. All I knew was that I has 2 brothers that died as babies. Please google "Greece dead baby scam" or a combination of these words. Even though this information is coming out, officials are putting blocks in front of people looking for their blood families. In many cases, the biological parents of these stolen children have passed. With all my heart I wish you the best.

  4. My name is Ken Pitchford and I am a Greek "adoptee." I was born in 1960 and have been searching for my natural family for over 30 years. I believe my family name was Koutas. Can anyone help? My email address is giannis0909@hotmail.com Thank you.


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