In a letter announcing the adoption freeze, Dekker said he "understood that this will be painful for some people, but let us not forget ... we are protecting children and their biological parents."
The minister apologized to the adopted children, adoptive parents and birth parents who were harmed in the practice.
The Dutch government failed "by turning a blind eye on abuse for years," he said.
Dekker said it would be up to the next administration to decide whether to renew overseas adoption practices that would not entail abuses.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte's government resigned last month over a child welfare fraud scandal but is staying on in a caretaker role to tackle the pandemic until parliamentary elections in March.
Dapatkan update berita pilihan dan breaking news setiap hari dari Kompas.com. Mari bergabung di Grup Telegram "Kompas.com News Update", caranya klik link https://t.me/kompascomupdate, kemudian join. Anda harus install aplikasi Telegram terlebih dulu di ponsel.