Netherlands suspends adoptions from abroad over abuses and corruption

The Netherlands suspended all adoptions from abroad with immediate effect, after an inquiry found several abuses.

The inquiry focused on the adoption from Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka between 1967 to 1998.

Minister for Local Protection Sander Dekker said Dutch governments had failed for years to intervene.

The abuses included coercing or paying birth mothers to give up children.

The investigative committee found that Dutch government officials were aware of wrongdoing and that some were involved in abuses, though it did not find evidence of bribery.

Mr Dekker said officials had failed by “looking away from abuses for years”.

“The government has not done what should be expected of it and should have taken a more active role in preventing abuse, and that is a painful observation. There are apologies for this. And I therefore offer these apologies to the adoptees today, on behalf of the cabinet.”

This move was welcomed by several adopted individuals who are still struggling to find their birth parents.

Ana van Valen, co-founder of the Mijn Roots Foundation, which helps adopted children find their biological parents, says they have often found the same mother’s name on multiple adoption papers.

“We suspect that the baby was switched or the information provided was incorrect,” she said.

Data showed 2,972 Sri Lankan , 2,132 Colombian, 1,517 Indian, 1,323 South Korean and 1,252 Indonesian children were adopted by Dutch couples between 1981-1992.