Netherlands Ordered to Pay Damages to Brazilian Adoptee

The District Court of The Hague on November 24, 2021, ordered The Netherlands to pay compensation (amount not yet determined) to a Brazilian adoptee.

According to Prakken d’Oliveira Human Rights Lawyers, “Patrick Noordoven was illegally adopted from Brazil in 1980. His parentage was thereby misrepresented, by giving him up as the biological child of the Dutch couple who adopted him illegally. Shortly after his illegal adoption, the police conducted an investigation and concluded that Patrick Noordoven and 41 other children had been adopted illegally from Brazil to the Netherlands. Nevertheless, after the investigation, the State did not take measures to enable Patrick Noordoven to know his parentage and the circumstances of his illegal adoption. The Court concluded that by doing so, the State acted in violation of Patrick Noordoven’s right to identity and knowledge of his parentage.”

In 2018, based on Noordoven’s case, The Hague Appeals Court determined that “a child that was illegally adopted has the right to all information about their adoption. This encompasses, among other things, information about how the illegal adoption took place, criminal investigations into the illegal adoption, and press reports about suspicions of child trafficking.” More information is available here: “Illegally adopted persons have the right to obtain all information about their adoption.”

Increasing numbers of international adult adoptees are searching for their origins, and finding that fraud and corruption were involved. Patrick Noordoven spent 20 years tracking down his truth. This appears to be the first time a country, in the case The Netherlands, has been ordered to pay damages to a person adopted internationally from another country.

I am not a lawyer, but I would say this case has global ramifications for illegally adopted people.

2 thoughts on “Netherlands Ordered to Pay Damages to Brazilian Adoptee

  1. Thank goodness something is being done for Patrick, I can only imagine the shock he got when he found out the truth of how his adopted parents fraudulently bought him, it’s totally tragic, I just hope they gave him a good life. I am so pleased that justice is being done for Patrick, I wish him all the luck in the world. If this is happening in the Netherlands, why can’t cases like this be heard in Ireland. I don’t know if the adopted parents will be charged, I take it that the Catholic Church is behind this, if so, they’re the ones that should be held accountable. This gives hope to all those that are affected in Ireland and around the world

    • There have been a small number of illegal adoption cases heard in Ireland, or are imminent. The first one, in 2018, was settled. The focus for the few days it sat was on the actions of the parents – natural and ‘adoptive’ – and not those who orchestrated it. It meant there was no precedent set for a judgement, and valuable information about those responsible wasn’t heard. Several of those affected by illegal adoption can’t get legal representation due to the statute of limitations, the deaths of those involved, or lack of info. But there is plenty of evidence to show the authorities were aware at the time, and since, and did nothing about it. There have been moves towards EU courts but all legal options have to be exhausted in the home country first. Not everyone has the money or stamina to take on a battle that is already geared against them.

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