Adopted kids sue Dutch gov't over abuses in the '80s

Newborn-Baby-Feet
. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Evan-Amos

Adopted children from Sri Lanka and Indonesia filed a lawsuit against the Dutch government over errors in their adoption procedures in the 1980's. They want the government to compensate the high costs they're incurring in the search for their origin and biological parents, according to a Zembla broadcast on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.

Last year Zembla reported that adoption files of children from Sri Lanka and Indonesia, among others, were falsified on a large scale and that biological parents did not always give their child up voluntarily. 

According to the lawyers representing the adopted kids, the Dutch state is responsible for making sure that adoption procedures from abroad are correctly implemented. Because the state failed to do so, adoption files could be falsified. The government can therefore be held liable, the lawyers said. Now these adopted children have no idea what their real identity is or who their biological parents are, and have to incur high costs in their search to find out.

"Crimes have been committed. It is actually bizarre, that if you are adopted and there are counterfeit papers, you have to solve your own crime and that you have to pay for it", lawyer Dewi Deijle, who was adopted from Indonesia, said in the program.

According to emeritus professor on adoption Rene Hoksbergen, the government failed in its supervisory task here. "Were al those children really adoptable? Were those children not almost sold? There should have been supervision. That was missing", he said to Zembla. The government must help as many of the 40 thousand affected children as possible to fix the inaccuracies of the past, he said. 

Former VVD parliamentarian Ed Nijpels also spoke in the broadcast. He insisted that legislation be implemented on adoptions from abroad in the 1980's already. He then told the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, that "importing peanuts is subject to more regulations than the adoption of a foreign child". 

Zembla asked the Ministry of Justice and Security for a response. "Everyone is free to go to court", the Ministry said in a written response, according to the program. 

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