PhD Conferral Mrs. Elvira C. Loibl, LL.M
Supervisors: prof.dr. A.H. Klip, prof.dr. S.W.E. Rutten, prof.dr. E. Wesseling
Keywords: transnational adoption, children trafficking, prevention of ‘underground’ adoption
“The Transnational Illegal Adoption Market; A Criminological Study of the German and Dutch Intercountry Adoption Systems”
The last half-century has witnessed the emergence of a transnational adoption market whereby children from the Global South are obtained illegally to meet the high demand for adoption in the Global North. In German and Dutch adoption systems, a number of criminogenic factors can be identified: the adoption agencies’ financial dependency on adoption placements, the unregulated flow of money into the sending countries and blind trust in the integrity of the foreign adoption systems are only some of the weaknesses that encourage the trafficking of children for adoption purposes. Banning foreign adoption will most certainly not stop the trafficking of children but might result in couples and individuals pursuing an adoption via ‘underground’ means, which is devoid of any control and supervision. Instead of prohibiting adoptions, the receiving countries should focus on removing the weaknesses within their adoption systems. Possible reforms include: creating accountability of adoption agencies for abusive practices in the sending countries as well as obliging the agencies to disclose more information about the country fees and to sufficiently demonstrate that they are reasonable.