Committee on the Investigation of Intercountry Adoption Report [unofficial translation]

Committee on the Investigation of Intercountry Adoption, Government of the Netherlands

The Dutch Minister for Legal Protection established an independent Committee on 18 April 2019 to investigate abuses in intercountry adoption during the period 1967-1998, and the role of the Dutch government in this regard, particularly in response to complaints and requests from adult adoptees searching for answers about their adoptions and their identities. This report presents the results of that investigation. According to the report, "the first reports of adoption abuse appeared in the media in the late 1960s, such as document forging, the abuse of the birth mothers' poverty and the relinquishment of children for payment or under duress." Adoptees looking for information on their own backgrounds "discover in their search that data are sometimes incorrect, or the adoption has even been illegal. As a result, they are unable to find the answers to the existential questions about their origin and identity."

In examining adoptees' requests for information, the "Ministry of Justice and Security discovered that Dutch government officials may have been involved in abuses," and, thus, the independent Committee was established. Furthermore, "many adoptees who search for their origin discover that genealogical data in their file is missing, is incorrect or falsified, so that the birth parents cannot be traced. In some cases, the birth mother appears not to have relinquished their child voluntarily. In addition, adoptees have many questions about the involvement of intermediaries and the government in adoption abuses. Some adoptees hold the Dutch State liable for their unlawful adoption."

This report focuses on intercountry adoptions from Brazil, Bangladesh, Colombia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.

Read the report and other materials in Dutch here.

Read similar research undertaken by Swiss authorities on illegal adoption practices in Sri Lanka here.

Summary Report