Child adoptions to the Netherlands from abroad must stop due to “serious wrongs”, committee decides

Following a report that investigated adoption culture in the Netherlands, a committee has decided that the adoption of children from abroad must be temporarily stopped. The report found that “serious wrongs” had been done during many adoption processes. 

The committee, led by former civil servant Tjibbe Joustra, found that practices such as child trafficking, forgery, corruption and child theft were used during the adoption process of many children from abroad, AD writes according to governmental sources.

Specifically, the report investigated the adoption of children from Bangladesh, Brazil, Columbia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka by parents in the Netherlands.

Issues that remain

The investigation was launched following reports of illegal adoptions from Brazil during the 1970s, however, the investigation was quickly broadened and covered the period from 1967 to 1997.

The report took over three months to complete due to the large number of abuses that were discovered and while the investigation only went as far as 1997, the committee believes that to this day, structural problems likely remain.

Halt and apologise

For this reason, the committee will now advise that the Netherlands halts the adoption of children from abroad for the time being. Furthermore, they believe that the Netherlands should apologise for the way in which many adoptions from abroad were carried out.

The findings of the report will be discussed today in the Council of Ministers. It is expected that there will be disagreement over the decision, with some claiming ongoing adoption processes should continue, AD reports.

Do you believe adoptions should be halted for now? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Feature Image: Skalekar1992/Pixabay.

Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Before becoming the Senior Editor of DutchReview, Sarah was a fresh-faced international looking to learn more about the Netherlands. Since moving here in 2017, Sarah has added a BA in English and Philosophy (Hons.), an MA in Literature (Hons.), and over three years of writing experience at DutchReview to her skillset. When Sarah isn't acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her trying to sound witty while writing about some of the stickier topics such as mortgages and Dutch law.


  1. What i miss in this article is that the process in NL is really hard and long (nowadays). This prevents honest people from adopting a child, where it corupts others to get a child…at any cost.

  2. An apology was long overdue. Happy that the government did that. But.. adoption should not be stopped yet because the services in the countries of origin are not up to providing children with adequate care. However, adoptions should always be checked and re-checked because it is very important paperwork is in order and subsidiarity is followed. Still, some cultures simply do not have a place for certain children e.g. handicapped, ill, socially-culturally inacceptable children – for those children adoption might still be needed. Perhaps in due time adoption will not be necessary anymore , perhaps in due time all families will be able to take care of their own children- that would be the best possible solution, just a one sided adoption stop will not provide for that. It is a short sighted measure.


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