No new inter-country adoptions effective immediately

No new inter-country adoption procedures will be started effective immediately. Adoption procedures that have already commenced will continue for the time being. This is what Minister Weerwind (Legal Protection) writes in a letter to the Dutch House of Representatives. The freeze on new adoptions follows after a parliamentary majority instructed the Minister for Legal Protection last month to develop a plan to carefully phase out inter-country adoption. The interest of children who are already involved in an adoption procedure are the primary focus of this phase-out. The interests of prospective adoptive parents are also kept in mind.

The first step in the phase-out is that Stichting Fiom, the Dutch Centre of Expertise in Unwanted Pregnancy and Ancestry, has been asked not to accept any new registrations. The procedures of prospective adoptive parents already in possession of a Foreign Child for Adoption Number will continue for the time being, including the associated information sessions. It will be indicated during these ongoing procedures that it may not be possible to complete the adoption procedure depending on how the phase-out plan will be shaped. 

Minister Weerwind: ‘In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about inter-country adoption. Not only by adopted children who suffered trauma, but also by others who actually experienced their adoption as valuable. This is juxtaposed as far as I am concerned. Also now that inter-country adoption is being phased out. The news that we will now be definitively ending inter-country adoption may come as a shock to the persons involved and create a great deal of emotion. I am very much aware of that. That is why due care is of paramount importance during the phase-out process.’

During the coming period, talks will be held with the partners within the adoption domain on the phase-out of tasks and responsibilities. A specific assessment will also be made of what elements must be safeguarded, such as the archiving of and access to adoption files. The aim is to send the phase-out plan to the House of Representatives in September. The phase-out plan will clarify how the phase-out will impact adoption procedures that have already started.