Statue of justice.

Photo: <.com

The court found that the Dutch states and adoption agencies did not do enough to prevent fraudulent adoption from Sri Lanka.

The woman who filed the case, Dilani Butink, was adopted in 1992, but a forged birth certificate meant she was unable to track her real parents.

Rather than relying on Sri Lankan authorities, the court said the court should have conducted its own checks, especially because there were signs of structural misconduct surrounding adoption from the country at the time. ..

In 2017, Sri Lankan officials admitted that a “baby farm” was established in the 1980s to supply children to couples in the west, and that women voluntarily abandoned pretending to be their mothers.

Butink was the first person to sue the state for its role in the adoption scandal that broke out in 2021 following the publication of a highly critical report by the Justra Commission.

Tjibbe Joustra and his team considered cross-border adoption for 30 years until 1997, after concerns about illegal adoption of babies from Brazil in the 1970s and 1980s. Investigations have revealed a variety of abuses, including corruption, counterfeiting, and child snatching.

After that, cross-border adoption will be discontinued and resumed only under the strict supervision of future government agencies.


Butink’s proceedings were statute of limitations, but the state chose to abandon them. Adoption agencies still say it can no longer be legally criticized, and the judge said it was “unacceptable.”

“This decision makes a lot of sense to me. It’s the recognition I’ve been waiting for,” Butink told broadcaster NOS.

The ruling means that Butink can initiate a civil lawsuit to compensate for the money spent in the futile search of her parents. She also wants a DNA database for adopted children from Sri Lanka.

Others adopted from Sri Lanka will also benefit from the judge’s decision, said Butink’s lawyer Lisa Marie Comp. “The situation is different, so they will have to file their own proceedings, but the court’s argument covered many grounds. The state should not rely on the Sri Lankan government to monitor adoption. rice field.

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