Sander Dekker, Minister of Law Protection of the Netherlands, apologized to the families and children of the victims, stating that the Dutch government has not intervened by ignoring the issue of abuses in adoption from abroad for years.
In the Netherlands, the independent investigative committee of former senior bureaucrats and prosecutors, chaired by Tjibbe Joustra, revealed that there have been serious abuse of adoption from abroad for many years.
The research committee appointed by the Assembly examined the adoptions from abroad from 1967 to 1997. The Joustra Committee identified numerous negativities in the process, including child theft, child trafficking, corruption, fraud and document theft, unethical behavior by civil servants, and transfer of children to the Netherlands with false allegations.
According to the committee, large numbers of children were brought to the Netherlands illegally. The Dutch government was also aware of the violations from the late 1960s, but did not carry out adequate control. In some cases, government representatives were also involved in abuses.
The committee’s report, which focuses heavily on children from Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, noted that adoption conditions in the Netherlands are still not good enough.
The Committee therefore asked the government to immediately stop child adoption from abroad and to compensate for families whose children were fraudulently brought to the Netherlands.
Sander Dekker, Minister for Law Protection of the resigned government, announced that adoption procedures from abroad were temporarily suspended for reconsideration.
Sander Dekker said they were thus aiming to protect children and biological parents from abuse.
Dekker apologized to the victims, emphasizing that the Dutch government has not intervened, despite being aware of violations of adoption from abroad since the 1960s.
The Dutch minister said that adoption for a long time is considered as “a way of doing favor for children from poor countries” by parents who want to have children, “But this cannot be a reason for abuses.”
The decision on the new adoption system from abroad will be taken by the new government that will come to power after the general elections on 17 March.
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