Netherlands lodges appeal against victim of State instigated crimes

A report issued by a State commission in February 2021 concludes that, in intercountry adoption cases from Brazil, the government of the Netherlands was aware of misdeeds in adoptions and the role of Dutch diplomats stationed in Brazil therein but did nothing about them and allowed them to continue.
A final court ruling in November 2021 concluded that, by doing so, the Netherlands acted in violation of the victim’s right to identity and knowledge of his parentage. The court therefore ruled that the State is liable for the damage that he has suffered as a result.
Three months later, one day before the deadline to lodge appeal, the Netherlands subpoenaed the victim of crimes instigated by a diplomat from the Netherlands stationed in Brazil for the court of appeals.

Whereas, according to the United Nations, the Netherlands should enforce claims from victims of illegal intercountry adoption for recognition and reparation, according to the Dutch Justice Minister victims have no right to enforcement of a final court ruling.

Furthermore, whereas, according to the United Nations, victims of illegal intercountry adoption have the right to full and public disclosure of the truth provided by the government, pursuant legal actions of the Dutch government, victims should be held to a duty of confidentiality concerning the responsibility and role of the Netherlands in illegal intercountry adoption practises.

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UPDATE: 21 May 2024 the court of appeals in the Hague ruled that the State of the Netherlands is not liable in this case. For more information, see the court’s press release (in Dutch).

After denouncement from a Brazilian, the Netherlands suspends international adoptions

«A committee created in the Netherlands after repeated denunciations by Patrick pointed out the responsibility of the state in “various types of abuse that occurred structurally”, and the government interrupted the processes of international adoption in the country.»

For the online Folha de S.Paulo article in PORTUGUESE, click here.

For the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper article in PORTUGUESE, click here.

For the online Estado de S.Paulo article in PORTUGUESE, click here.

For the Estado de S.Paulo newspaper article in PORTUGUESE, click here.


State Facilitated Illegal Intercountry Adoptions from Brazil

The government of the Netherlands instigated an independent commission in April 2019 to look into international abuses after legal procedures showed that the Dutch government had been involved in illegal adoption from Brazil, and pointed to the possibility of more such cases.
The report issued by the state commission in February 2021, said it had found systematic wrongdoing, including pressuring poor women to give up their babies, falsifying documents, engaging in fraud and corruption, and, in effect, buying and selling children. In cases from Brazil, the Dutch government was aware of misdeeds in adoptions and the role of Dutch diplomats stationed in Brazil therein, but did nothing about them and allowed them to continue. The report also concluded that the role of Dutch diplomats was deliberately left out of the 1984 report of the Dutch police investigation into illegal intercountry adoptions from Brazil.

For the full report, click here.

For the summary of the report, click here.

For the Speech by Minister Dekker upon receipt of the report (DUTCH ONLY), click here.


10 August 2019 – LLM Thesis defended by Patrick Noordoven for the School of Law, University of Brasília, as per prerequisite to obtain the Masters in Law title. «This Thesis is dedicated to all persons who are deprived of their right to identity through intercountry adoption. You all deserve access to your origins, as recognized by human rights law and jurisprudence.»

To access the Thesis, click here.

Dutch government to investigate the role of the State in respect to illegal intercountry adoptions

6 December 2018 – After years of demanding information from the Dutch State about illegal intercountry adoption practices from Brazil, the Justice Minister sent a letter to parliament in which the government announces to instigate an external committee to investigate illegal intercountry adoption in the past. The committee’s mandate comprises the facts and the role of the Dutch government in respect to these adoptions. 

For more information (DUTCH ONLY), click here.

Conférence: Dérives dans l’adoption 2017

On Saturday 18 November 2017 our founder Patrick Noordoven gave a presentation at the Conférence: Dérives dans l’adoption, hosted by La Voix des Adoptés and Born in Lebanon in Paris, France. His presentation was titled “La recherche des familles”.

The presentation made reference to the following two short video clips from 1982; a Dutch TV report explaining the illegal adoption procedure and an interview with Cathia Seeder, providing further insights into the procedures.

The French translation of Patrick’s article “PROMISING PRACTICE: RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT FALSE BIRTH REGISTRATION PRACTICES, KNOWN AS THE BRAZIL BABY AFFAIR” for the ISS publication “Responding to illegal adoptions: A Professional Handbook” was presented at the conference to provide further insights into the issue.

Download the article in Spanish
Download the article in English.
Download the article in French.

Adoption Initiative Conference 2016

On Friday 10 June our founder Patrick Noordoven gave a presentation at the 9th Biennial Adoption Conference “Myth and Reality in Adoption: Transforming Practice Through Lessons Learned” at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey, USA. He contributed to the conference track ‘Adoption Policy and Practice’ and focused his presentation on the topic of “The Human Right to Identity and Intercountry Adoption: False Birth Registration Practices Known as the Brazil Baby Affair”.

For more details, click here.

Radio report: Illegally adopted Brazilians search for their roots

Since the 1970’s, many children from developing countries have been adopted by people from abroad, some of them illegally. In Brazil, foreign adoptions peaked in the 1980s. Those babies are now adults, and many are trying to find their biological families in Brazil.

Radio reporter Katy Sherriff accompanied Louisa on her quest to discover her Brazilian origins with the help of NGO Brazil Baby Affair.

Listen to the recorded radio broadcast in English here.

State involvement, intermediaries and financial gain

Dutch TV report “Achter het Nieuws” 22 February 1982 – Cathia Seeder provides an insight in the illegal adoption procedure and denounces the involvement of the Dutch State in the illegal adoption cases. Seeder later confessed to being “auxiliary complicit” to the deprivation of the right to identity in Dutch, West-German, Swedish and US-American illegal adoption cases; source: Dutch Police Report 1984. You can watch the video here.


Charlotte grew up in an upper-class Parisian quarter with her adoptive parents. She had a tough childhood, her mother was bipolar and her father was an alcoholic.

She was curious to know more about her adoption from Brazil and started investigating when she was 14 years old. Charlotte was told that she supposedly was found on the streets but she mistrusted this story.

What she found in search for the truth was startling, none of her adoption papers – which were kept a secret from her – made any sense and her inquiries about her Brazilian origins remained unanswered.

For more details, click here.

Defending the Rights of the Child

Dutch TV report “Achter het Nieuws” 22 February 1982 – Human Rights lawyer Lia Junqueira, from the Movement for the Defense for Children, defended the rights of the Brazilian babies who were trafficked for Illegal Intercountry adoption. Including a testimony of Antônio Chaves, Judge at the Juvenile Court of São Paulo. You can watch the video here.

Conference Right to Roots

On 20 November 2014 Patrick spoke at the conference ‘Recht op Roots’ (in English: ‘Right to Roots’) organized by the Dutch Fiom in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Read more about it here.


Louisa grew up in Hamburg in a family with 4 siblings; some of them are adopted as well. She started to think about Brazil when she was about 14 years old.

When she was in her twenties, Louisa started to make her first inquiries about her Brazilian origins. She found it hard not knowing anything about her origins. On top of that, she had to cope with the lack of information available to search for her original family.

For more details, click here.