Netherlands Stops International Adoptions After ‘Stolen Children’ Scandal Exposed

Perfect family holding hands, adopted child being supported by loving parents
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The Netherlands has halted all international adoptions after a study revealed that many children brought to the country had been stolen from their parents.

A study by a government commission looked into adoptions from several countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka between 1967 and 1998 and found that children had been taken from their parents. In some cases, the children were bought from their parents, who were facing pressure while suffering under poverty.

The commission also noted that the Dutch government knew about the abuses as early as the 1960s. Some officials were even involved in the adoption abuses, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports.

Legal Protection Minister Sander Dekker offered an official apology to those affected by the abuses earlier this week, stating that as a result of the findings, international adoptions would be halted for the time being.

Dekker added that overturning the international adoptions moratorium was a job for the next administration. Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government collapsed in January amid a welfare scandal, and Rutte is overseeing a caretaker government until elections in March.

The Dutch study comes less than a year after a German report implicated former Berlin senators, a former West German chancellor, and many others in a network which deliberately placed homeless children into the homes of known paedophiles.

Researchers at the University of Hildesheim published their findings after looking through thousands of files and detailed a network that not only accepted paedophile foster parents but defended and supported the project that allowed one man to abuse at least nine children.

Helmut Kentler, the head of the Pedagogical Centre in Berlin which was identified in the report, had called for homeless children in Berlin to be put into foster care with paedophiles and argued in favour of children having sex with adults, describing such “relationships” as “in some cases almost something like a gentler form of social work”.

“It was all known about,” said Dr Stephan Klecha, a historian at Göttingen University.  “Kentler’s books were bestsellers. His experiment was facilitated by the Berlin Senate and his final report was furnished with a preface from a liberal city senator.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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