The Netherlands: Suspension of Intercountry Adoption

Last Updated: February 9, 2021

The Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security reported on February 8 that the Netherlands decided to suspend all intercountry adoptions. The Ministry stated that they made this decision based on recommendations from the Committee Investigating Past Intercountry Adoption, which was tasked with investigating adoptions from abroad and possible illicit practices from 1967-1998. The Committee determined that during that period, the adoption infrastructure was not sufficient to prevent illicit practices and to safeguard the interests of adoptees. Additional details can be found here.

As a result, the Committee recommended the immediate suspension of all intercountry adoption procedures for new applicants seeking a “permit in principle” in the Netherlands.  

The Netherlands is one of the top receiving countries for outgoing adoptions from the United States. 

The Office of Children’s Issues and Consulate General Amsterdam contacted the Dutch Central Authority to understand how this decision will impact U.S. children currently in the process of being adopted by Dutch families.

In the Netherlands, people receive a “permit in principle,” which is a general permission to adopt. At this time, the Dutch Central Authority has informed us that prospective adoptive parents who have already received a “permit in principle” will be allowed to proceed with their adoption.  Matching proposals will still be reviewed by the Dutch Central Authority, and outgoing adoption procedures from the United States can be completed. All new applicants, and families who have not yet received a “permit in principle,” will go on hold. 

For information about how to proceed if your case is in process, please contact the Adoption Authorities in the Netherlands. We understand communication should go through the Central Authority on international Children’s Issues or the FIOM/Adoption Services. Their contact information is included below: 

FIOM/Adoption Services
Postbus 290,
3500 AG Utrecht 
The Netherlands 
Tel: +31 30 233 0340 
Fax: +31 30 232 1777 
Email: (messages via website below) 

Central Authority on International Children’s Issues
Postbus 20301
2500 EH Den Haag
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 70 370 62 52