Perhaps in the autumn again adoptions from certain countries

There may be an end to the adoption stop for children from abroad in the autumn for certain countries. That said demissionary minister Dekker in a debate in the House of Representatives. But surely that is not at all. Dekker suspended the adoptions in February after a committee led by former chairman Joustra of the Dutch Safety Board reported serious abuses.

Pending a new system, no new adoptions should begin. The 400 procedures already under way may continue. If adoptive parents, in wise speaking, have already seen the pictures of the child, the demissionary Minister for Legal Protection considers it too radical to stop such a process. Then there will be extra checks.

Room wrestles

Almost the whole Chamber is struggling with the question of adoptions from abroad: virtually everyone agrees that on the one hand it may be better for a child to be ‘lovingly’ in a Dutch family than in a home in his native country, but on the other hand, there is no side in practice many turns out to have gone wrong.

Part of the Chamber wondered whether the suspension was not too rigorous and whether the child is not thrown away with the bath water. Adoption agencies and parent associations also believe that Dekker goes too far.

Dekker stressed that there were really many abuses. According to him, Joustra has written a thorough report and has therefore followed his recommendations.

Ethical dilemmas

The minister will present a ‘in-depth exploration about a new adoption system in the autumn. He therefore responds to the ethical dilemmas surrounding adoption. The Minister reiterated that the interests of the child must always be paramount.

Dekker will list all kinds of aspects in a row and in principle he will leave it to a new cabinet to make decisions about it. But if his studies show that there are no problems with adoptions from certain countries, they might already be resumed, he promised the Chamber. If there is broad support in this Chamber that there are good reasons and guarantees to continue with certain countries, it could be, he said.

Continuation not an end in itself

However, the Minister emphasised that he had not yet taken any decisions and that the continuation of adoptions is not an end in itself.

If there are too big risks, I hope we can have an open debate on them. I never said we should stop, but I never said we should continue, said Dekker.