Study into forced adoption raises transparency concerns
An ongoing state-funded study into forced adoption practices in the Netherlands during the Twentieth Century is not being transparent with its research methods, a former adoptee has alleged. Eugenie Smits van Waesberghe, herself born into foster care in Breda and put up for adoption, told local news service Omroep Brabant on Tuesday that a number of people who have come forward to share their accounts of forced adoptions have reason to be suspicious of what is happening to the information they provide.
“There are people who come to us saying that they have asked for the report of the interview, but that they have been refused. Or that they get their report, only to find that nothing is true. Nor is it clear where the reports of the interviews actually end up," said Smits van Waesberghe.
It is estimated that in the last century, some 25 thousand mothers were compelled to give up their children, often right after having given birth. Some 15 thousand of those children, a large majority, were put up for adoption in the thirty year period between 1950 and 1980 at different care facilities across the Netherlands.
Since October of last year, the Dutch government has been spearheading a large-scale study to try to detail these adoption practices, aiming to survey distant mothers, children and other people involved in the adoptions. So far, over 650 people have registered to be involved in the survey, according to Omroep Brabant.
Smits van Waesberghe goes on to say that the reporting center, where the call surveys are handled, ought to be shut down until its research methods can be made transparent.
While the call for transparency is shared, two MPs have publicly said that they do not think the reporting center should close, pointing out that this would create unnecessary hassle in the study.
"It is quite something to make a statement like that. Then you want to know, was your message heard? You want to read it back,” says Madeleine van Toorenburg of the CDA. This view is shared by Vera Bergkamp of D66, who raised the issue Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker.
As of yet, the Ministry has yet to take action on the matter.