Forced Adoption hotline gets 500 reports

The Forced Adoption hotline received 500 reports since it opened in October, Minister Sander Dekker for Legal Protection confirmed to NOS. The hotline is part of two investigations into Dutch mothers who were pressured into giving their child up for adoption between 1956 and 1984. An estimated 15 thousand children were given up in this way, according to the broadcaster.

Of the 500 reports, about half came from children who were adopted. A quarter of the callers were mothers who were pressured to give up their child. The other reports came from fathers and social workers. 

Dekker, who launched the investigations to get more clarity about the role the government played and about the situation of the mothers and their children, is surprised by the high number of calls. "That says something about the extent of the problem at the time. I hope more people will report, because that helps to make the picture more complete." According to Dekker, it is important for the involved mothers and children to "gain recognition for the problems of the time and the suffering they have been carrying with them ever since."

The hotline will be open until June. A special research group is collecting all the stories. Most involve women who became pregnant at a young age or while unmarried and were forced by the church or their family to place their child up for adoption.