Altogether, 560 children were adopted in the Netherlands last year (the lowest number since 1965) versus 720 children in 2010.
Reduced by more than half since 2004
Since the most recent record year 2004, the number of adopted children was declined almost continually. In that year, 1,380 children were adopted, more than twice as many as in 2011. Nearly all children are adopted from foreign countries, i.e. 535 in 2011. The number of child adoptions has not been this low since 1973 and the total number of adoptions has not been this low since 1965. Until the mid-1970s, most adoptions concerned native Dutch children, but in the last decades, the number of native Dutch child adoptions has been reduced to no more than several dozen annually.
Foreign and Dutch child adoptions
Since the late 1990s: first girls, now boys
Towards the turn of the century, the number of adopted girls soared, but dropped rapidly after 2004. At the same time, the number of boys adopted in the Netherlands remained stable. The number of girls adopted from China declined noticeably. Last year, twice as many boys as girls were adopted in the Netherlands.
Adopted boys and girls
Far fewer children adopted from China
One third of all children adopted from abroad are Chinese nationals. Last year, 180 Chinese children were adopted in the Netherlands versus 800 in 2004. The number of adoptions of Chinese boys has risen until 2010. The decline in child adoptions from China may partly be due to the fact that the Chinese economy is performing fairly well and the large number of adoption requests from other countries. Domestic adoptions are also on the increase in China.
Boys and girls adopted from China
Many children with impairments
Children adopted in the Netherlands are often physically impaired or emotionally disturbed. Figures provided by the Ministry of Security and Justice indicate that approximately six in every ten children adopted last year are in need of special care.
Arno Sprangers and Wim Vissers