The Netherlands should stop allowing people to adopt children from abroad because it is not in the best interests of the child, the Dutch youth protection council RSJ said on Wednesday.
The advisory body said in its new recommendations that the interests of the child should always be paramount and that these are better served if the child grows up in their own country with their own culture.
Instead, more should be done to help the child’s biological parents ensure continuity of care, the RSJ said.
Poverty is an often cited reason for adoption from abroad but research shows this is creating demand and leading to more children being placed in care homes, the RSJ said.
Nevertheless, foreign adoption is now less popular and the types of children being adopted is changing. Last year, 304 foreign children were adopted by Dutch couples, most of whom came from China (100) and the US (35). Of them, 85% were described as ‘special needs’.
In 2005, by contrast, 1,185 children were brought to the Netherlands from abroad.