Adoptive parents launch petition against NL's halt on foreign adoptions
A group of "adoptees, adoptive parents and those whose lives were positively influenced by adoption" launched a petition asking the Dutch government to reverse its decision to halt all adoptions from abroad. They want "demonstrably careful international adoptions" to be allowed. The petition was singed nearly 6,500 times in a week.
Last week, Minister Sander Dekker for Legal Protection completely halted all adoptions from abroad with immediate effect, after the Joustra committee identified "structural abuses" in the adoption system. The committee found signals of "falsification of documents, the abuse of poverty among the birth mothers, and the giving up of children for payment or because of coercion," among other things, and added that such abuses were happening to this day.
With that announcement, about 450 active adoption applications by Dutch people who want to adopt children from other countries were halted. Parents who have already received permission to bring a child to the Netherlands, may complete the procedure "after an additional test".
According to the petition initiators, this announcement came as an unpleasant surprise because the Joustra committee's recommendation was "drawn up in a limited, poorly substantiated and non-transparent manner." They said that the decision "deprives children of the opportunity to grow up with a family" and is a major blow for potential adoptive parents.
"You cannot put all countries together, many adoptions go well and according to the rules," initiator Karen Gregory, herself an adoptive mother of two children from the United States, said to newspaper Trouw. "A small group of adoptees suffered tremendous trauma - I don't dispute that - but they don't have to project that on all adoptions."