Netherlands Will Halt International Child Adoption Immediately

February 9, 2021, 02.11 PM
An image of foster children participating in their routine activity in Jakarta. Dok Karim RaslanAn image of foster children participating in their routine activity in Jakarta.

KOMPAS.com – Children from Indonesia may temporarily be unable to be adopted by parents in the Netherlands as its government suspends international adoptions following abuse cases, Kompas.com learned.

The country’s Legal Protection Minister Sander Dekker said on Monday, February 8 that a government commission found that some children in several countries had been stolen or purchased from their birth parents.

Increasing numbers of grown-up adopted children discovered that their birth documents had disappeared or had been forged, or that their adoptions had been illegal.

Also readChildren Vulnerable to More Outbreaks, Warns Indonesian Authorities

The commission announced that it would freeze adoptions "immediately" because the national foreign adoption system remains susceptible to fraud and abuse "to this day."

What did the commission find?

The commission examined cases from Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka from 1967 to 1998, but concluded that abuse took place long before and after this period.
It said that in some cases, children adopted via intermediaries were found to have been stolen or bought from their birth parents under economic pressure amidst poverty.

The Dutch government was already aware of the abuses in the late 1960s, and in a number of cases government officials were "involved in adoption abuses," Dutch daily De Telegraaf reported the commission as saying.

Around 40,000 children from 80 countries had been adopted in the previous half century by Dutch parents.

How did the Dutch government react?

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