The Dutch Government announced this Monday the immediate suspension of adoption of children abroad following the recommendation of a committee that investigated the adoption processes between the sixties and nineties, concluding that there were irregularities and that the system “still contains inherent vulnerabilities.”

The outgoing Minister of Legal Protection, Sander Dekker, acknowledged that the Government “has not acted for years by looking away from the abuses in international adoptions and not intervening,” a conclusion he draws from the report on the role and responsibility of the Executive in the international adoption of children during at least the period between 1967 and 1998.
The new adoption procedures abroad are immediately suspended “to protect children and their biological parents against abuse”, so no new applications will be processed, although those families who have permission granted, in principle, can complete your procedure after further testing.
The commission of inquiry, led by Tjibbe Joustra, stressed that the Government, “based on the idea of ​​doing good” with adoptions abroad, was “too passive” in the past, and as a result, “the supervision of the processes was insufficient and no measures were taken in the face of the abuses that came to light ”over the years.
Although various steps were taken over time to improve adoption supervision and regulation, the committee concludes that the system “still contains inherent vulnerabilities” that prevent adoptions of children from abroad from continuing for the time being.


“It is painful to conclude that the government has not done what was expected of it because, although many adoptions have been considered positive, the executive should have taken a more active role by intervening in cases where there was abuse.
The positive sentiment around adoption in the last century, with the guiding idea that we did well with adoption, offers an explanation, but not a justification, ”the minister explains.
At the end of 2018, the minister asked Joustra to form a committee to investigate the irregularities reported by young adoptees in different countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh or Indonesia, with information that pointed to a possible government involvement in the adoption. illegal baby.
These were issues such as forgery of documents, child trafficking, fraud and corruption, but also what the committee called “unethical acts”, such as the adoption of children “under false pretenses or under moral pressure, which that deliberately created uncertainty or ambiguity around someone’s origins and abuse of poverty ”.
The report emphasizes that successive Dutch governments were aware of the abuses that were taking place at the end of the last century, but “there was no effective intervention, which perpetuated the abuses”.

Dekker admits that the adoptees “deserve recognition for the mistakes of the past”, as well as psychological and financial help in the search for their biological parents: “They should be able to count on our help in the present, and for the future, we have to ask ourselves in a critical if and how we will continue with the adoption abroad ”.

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