Minister Dekker relaunches inquiry into domestic adoptions

The current inquiry into domestic adoptions in the Netherlands between 1956 and 1984 will be discontinued. The inquiry into the history of adoptions of children given up for adoption by unwed mothers will be relaunched under a new, independent committee of inquiry.

The Minister for Legal Protection, Sander Dekker, took this decision after talks with advocacy groups and reports from other stakeholders. They had lost confidence in the current inquiry due to issues with the reporting centre where mothers who had given up their child for adoption, the adopted children and other people involved could register to contribute to the inquiry by telling their stories.

According to Minister Dekker

‘The mothers and children deserve recognition. What happened to these mothers and children is a dark chapter in our history, and they deserve recognition of their experiences. An inquiry into this period is an essential part of that. I have listened to the wishes of the mothers and their children and have decided to relaunch the inquiry. I am confident that, by relaunching the inquiry, we can make a fresh start and restore the damaged trust.’


In order to provide recognition of the experiences of the mothers and children concerned, the new inquiry will also work on developing means to support these people. For example, many people have questions about their personal history. To help these people, a list will be drawn up of the institutions where unwed mothers gave birth and out of which their children were adopted. In addition, a list is being compiled of the archives still in existence and those that have been destroyed. Consideration will also be given to whether the expertise centre for adoptions from abroad currently being set up can eventually be expanded, so that the centre can also help people adopted in the Netherlands with questions about their birth parentage.

Minister Dekker will now first hold discussions with those involved on who would be suitable candidates to chair the independent committee and on the remit of its inquiry. The Minister is expected to inform the Lower House of Parliament early next year on what the new committee of inquiry will look like.