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Adoption in the Netherlands

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The Netherlands has been at the forefront of an international effort to ensure that the adoption of any child is done with the best interests of the child in mind, since The Hague Adoption Convention, signed by 66 countries in 1993.

There are some 700 children from other countries adopted every year in the Netherlands. Adoption of Dutch children is a lot less common, with an average of around 30 adoptions a year. In both cases, however, the process can be long and expensive.

Adopting a child from abroad

The process of adopting a child from abroad can take anywhere between three to five years and can cost anything between 10.000 and 40.000 euros or more. The projected costs take into account things such as the application fee, home study and the particularly expensive mediation costs. The prospective parents must first fulfil certain requirements under Dutch law before the process begins, as well as fulfilling the requirements of the country from which the child is being adopted.

A detailed explanation of the process can be found on the Foundation for Adoption Services (in English).

Domestic adoption

If you wish to adopt a child from the Netherlands then you must be a permanent resident within the country. The process for adopting a Dutch child is less taxing, but there are fewer options for adoption. For more information click here (in Dutch).

Foster Care

Another option for anyone wishing to add to their family is taking a child into foster care. For more information visit the website (in Dutch) here.

Useful links


Here are some useful links on fertility issues and adoption in the Netherlands:

Giving your child up for adoption

If you are considering giving your child up for adoption, or you want some options after an unplanned pregnancy, you can visit the Fiom website, which has some information in English.

Do-it-yourself adoption

If you want to adopt a child but would like to avoid paying too much in mediation costs, you can find out some information about do-it-yourself adoptions (in Dutch) here.

Fertility issues

If you or your partner are experiencing fertility issues then you can find some information about the help and support you can receive here.

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