Adoption history

In 1993 the Netherlands was one of the original 66 countries that signed the Hague Adoption Convention of which 81 countries now belong.

All the member countries are either a country of origin of the child, or are countries where prospective parents live. All have agreed to the rules regarding adoption, and all are focused on the best interests of the child.

The procedure

The process of adopting a child can take anywhere from three to five years, according to information outlined on the Foundation Adoption Services (Stichting Adoptievoorzieningen) website. The process will bring prospective parents in contact with the Child Protection Board, the Central Authority of the Ministry of Security and Justice, and mediating organisations. This time will also include the application process, home study and the necessary assessments to find the best parents for any given child.

International and domestic adoption

For international adoptions there are numerous rules and regulations, and with those come a few exceptions (age, adopting a sibling, marital status etc), so interested parties should enquire to discover if eligible. Permanent residents of the Netherlands (with full residency status) wishing to adopt should contact the Foundation Adoption Services. An overview of the process is available in English; the brochure is available on their website:

Permanent residents of the Netherlands who wish to adopt a child born in the Netherlands (domestic adoption) can follow a five step process. More information can be found on the Child Protection Board website: (in Dutch).

If you are Dutch and wish to adopt a child of a family member living abroad, you can follow the procedures outlined through the IND (Immigratie en Naturalisatie Dienst) website:

Useful resources

Fertility issues

Freya is an organisation for people dealing with fertility issues. They provide information about fertility, and about the possibilities for living a life without children (website in Dutch). Telephone: 024 301 0350

Foster care

Foster care is another option for caring for children who cannot live with their biological parents (website in Dutch). Telephone: 0800 022 34 32

Social work

FIOM provides information, advice and help to mothers who are considering relinquishment of their baby, adoptive parents, and adoptees. Their site has a PDF available in English. Telephone: 088 126 4900

Home study

The home studies are performed by adoption teams of the Child Protection Board. It has offices across the country. Information can be obtained from the National Office of the Child Protection Board (Landelijk Bureau Raad voor de Kinderbescherming) website (in Dutch). Telephone: 020 889 3400


License holders who work in the Netherlands provide general information about mediation, their own methods and the possibilities to become eligible for adoption in various countries. Contact information of the license holders can be found on the website of Foundation Adoption Services. Telephone: 030 233 0340

For information about partial mediation, you may get information from the organisation for do it yourself adoptions (Belangenvereniging voor Zelfdoeners (BZA)). (In Dutch)

Permit in principle and legal information

At the Ministry of Security and Justice you may obtain information concerning individual cases. Ministry of Security and Justice, Centrale Autoriteit Interlandelijke Adoptie Telephone: (070) 370 7911

Hague Adoption Convention

An up to date listing of countries that have ratified the convention, and those who are planning to do so, is available on the website of the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference for International Private Law.