Scores of people across Greece are trying to find long-lost siblings or children who supposedly died just after birth but were actually sold for adoption.
Up to 25-hundred infants may have been involved in 40 years of baby trading which reached its apex in the 1950s and 60s. One orphanage allegedly made 139 (m) million dollars selling babies.
The government has ordered investigations at an orphanage in Thessaloniki and a maternity clinic in Athens.
Newborn babies at the Alexandra Maternity Clinic in central Athens. Their cots are well- labeled and the nursery is well-supervised.
But thirty years ago that may not have been the case.
The baby-selling scheme involved telling the natural parents their child had died, issuing a phony death certificate and then refusing the grieving parents the right to see the body - often saying it had already been buried. The baby would then be sold to a childless couple for a large sum of money.
The Greek government has ordered an investigation into adoptions and births at the hospital between 1935 and 1975 amidst fears that healthy infants were declared dead only to be sold for adoption.
The public prosecutor has issued an order banning any destruction of files from the Alexandra Maternity Clinic so evidence can be preserved for those who have concerns.
Dimitris Paraskevopoulos believes his mother was the victim of a scheme at the Alexandra clinic to steal babies for profit. He says his mother was told her baby had died just after birth.
When she asked to see her baby they said that was not possible as it was already being buried in a grave together with other dead babies. At the same time, in the same hospital four more babies died.
SUPER CAPTION: Dimitris Paraskevopoulos.
Across Greece hospitals have been inundated by people anxious to learn if they or their relatives were in anyway victims of the baby-trading scheme.
These people meeting at an Athens restaurant are part of a support group for those wondering about their families.
After World War two and the Greek civil war many children were put in orphanages for financial reasons, now many middle-aged people want to learn if their parents were their biological parents or if they had siblings who were sold.
This orphanage in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, is at the centre of the baby selling scandal.
Earlier this month 500 people asked the local prosecutor to intervene so that files at the St. Stylianos Orphanage could be opened.
People line up to fill out applications to see the records. They are inspired by stories in the Greek press of families reunited with parents or siblings they didn't know existed.
It's believed the complex scheme to sell babies for cash at the St. Stylianos Orphanage involved the directors and the head nurses.
Miranda-Martha Romanou was adopted from the St. Stylianos Orphanage in 1959. She's looking for siblings she hasn't seen since she was a toddler.
I have two brothers and one sister and I am the oldest of this family. They were stolen when I was one years old from the garden of the house.
SUPER CAPTION: Miranda-Martha Romanou, Victim of Baby Theft Ring
With growing publicity in their favour, the victims have set up an association in Thessaloniki to pressure politicians to find out the truth about the 25-hundred babies who allegedly went missing from Greek orphanages.
Those who believe they were the victims of the baby trading ring gathered Monday at the Thessaloniki Labour Union hall to tell their stories and discuss further action.
We thoroughly believe that these crimes against the human beings have not been forgotten and we now demand the government and the mayor of this city (Thessaloniki) open all files so that the families that lost children during that period can be joined with the families.
SUPER CAPTION: Ifigenia Kalfopoulou, General Secretary of the 'Victim's Union'
Kalfopoulou said some babies were sold to families in Canada, the United States, England, Holland and Germany.
The mayor of Thessaloniki, who is also the chairman of the board of the St. Stylianos Orphanage, has promised a full inquiry.