Social Issues

Stolen babies, fake adoptions: a tragedy for thousands in the Netherlands

By Imane Rachidi

The Hague, Jun 24 (EFE).- Dutch citizen Dewi Deijle has been searching for her biological mother all over Indonesia for years. Amanda Jansen is overwhelmed every time she attempts to discern what is real and fake in her birth certificate from Sri Lanka.

Farida van Hulst hides under her shell to avoid thinking about her biological mother, but not knowing torments her. Gideon suspects a gynecologist in Brazil sold him to a Dutch family.

All of them are victims of baby trafficking, which was commonplace in the Netherlands for about three decades in the latter third of the 20th century, disguised as philanthropic adoptions.

“My documents are falsified, I cannot find any information about my roots,” says Dewi Deijle. “I always knew I was adopted, that is no issue for me. The problem is that my papers are fake and it is very likely that my biological mother never meant to give me up for adoption.”

Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker admitted this year that the government had failed to address the issue, looking away from international adoption abuses.

He was reacting to a report by a commission that documented evidence of these abuses as early as the 1970s, with public officials involved in systematic falsification of documents and abuse of vulnerable poor populations, although no proof of corruption or bribery among Dutch public officials was found.

Deijle found the orphanage in Jakarta where her adoptive parents picked her up in 1980. The chairman told her that “80% of the certificates issued at the time have fake signatures and names,” which makes it nearly impossible to trace back her origins.

She has been unable to unearth her biological mother’s name, whether she wanted to give her up for adoption, or where Delijle was actually born.

“The orphanage was a baby distribution centre and (the owner) simply scattered them all over the world, with help from Dutch agencies, which knew about the child trafficking,” says Deijle.

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