Tjibbe Joustra appointed head of committee to investigate past intercountry adoptions

The committee that will investigate the role and responsibility of the Dutch government in the intercountry adoption of children in at least the period 1967–1998 will be led by Tjibbe Joustra, LLM. The other members of the committee will be Prof. Beatrice de Graaf and Bert-Jan Houtzagers, LLM. 'I can well imagine that people who are unsure about their identity are looking for answers. The circumstances under which they were adopted may form a piece of the puzzle for them. For this reason, I am ordering an investigation into potential malpractices during a number of adoptions in which the Dutch government played a role. I am counting on our country's most experienced and independent investigators to shed light on what happened,' said Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker.

The committee will start its work on 1 May and deliver its report no later than 1 October 2020. The investigation will cover at least the years from 1967 until 1998 and in any case the countries Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The committee will set up a vast investigative secretariat and have the power to assign specific investigative assignments to researchers. It will also have the right to access all records kept by the departments concerned and to hear present and former civil servants. The committee's secretariat will carry out its duties independently of the Ministry of Justice and Security. An external supervisory committee comprising experiential and other experts will be set up alongside the committee and the secretariat. On concluding its investigation, the committee will present a report to the Minister for Legal Protection.