The Netherlands: political parties want to stop adoption from Bulgaria

18 Oktober 2015


(translated from Dutch)

“Control is insufficient and rules are not always followed”

The PvdA, SP, D66 and Christian Union consider that the adoption of children from Bulgaria must stop until further research is done. The Parties shall notify this following the broadcast of Brandpunt Reporter of tonight, in which different stakeholders tell that the adoption procedures in Bulgaria are not always properly followed. Since 2010 more than 80 Bulgarian children came to the Netherlands.

Nobody involved in adoptions in Bulgaria, says to be able to check whether adoptions are governed by the rules. According to those involved, children go abroad while they have family in Bulgaria who wants to take care of them. This is not allowed by the Bulgarian and international adoption laws.

Bulgarian social workers, counselors and a human rights lawyer tell Brandpunt Reporter that children can quickly be taken away from their parents, often because of poverty. Then, the children end up in an orphanage. If parents do not start a procedure, the children are automatically available for adoption. But many parents do not realize this and they are also not told, according to the report.

The Bulgarian Council for Child Protection affirms that the procedures are not always followed. The Bulgarian Ministry of Justice, which must approve all adoptions, said in the broadcast can not completely control these procedures. Also in the Bulgarian politics sounds the call for a stop. “These children should stay in Bulgaria. Now there is something done which really should not, “said MP Sultanka Petrova.

“That procedure is thus insufficient to responsibly pursue adoptions from that country,” said Socialist Party MP Michiel van Nispen. The party wants all adoptions now stop. PvdA, D66 and the Christian Union wish to see an investigation and that the adoptions Bulgarian ongoing investigation be suspended. “I want to be really sure that the Netherlands is not inadvertently playing a role in a procedure which is more akin to child trafficking than well-controlled adoption,” said CU-parliamentarian Gert-Jan Segers. Magda Berndsen D66: “The adoption chain and the ministry should take responsibility and investigate the findings of Brandpunt Reporter and scrutinize if adoption from Bulgaria is justified.”

In the broadcast, the foundation that mediates all adoptions to the Netherlands, Kind & Toekomst, declares that there are no problems with the procedures in the Netherlands. But Dutch MP Khadija Arib from the Labor Party says not sure if it can be told in Bulgaria such troubling stories. “Following the formal procedures does not necessarily mean that the interests of the child is paramount. So if a child goes abroad for adoption, the receiving country can never really check that, “said Arib.

Focal Reporter, Sunday October 18, 22:35 pm, NPO 2