Al 134 meldingen over mogelijke onregelmatigheden bij adopties | De Standaard Mobile (Already 134 reports about possible irregularities in adoptions | The Standard Mobile)

24 March 2024

134 people have already come forward with questions about their adoption. Some adoptions date back sixty or more years. About twenty reports concern adoptions after 2000.

In the past, several signals were given of possible irregularities in the adoption of Ethiopian children who came to Belgium between 1997 and 2015, after mediation by the adoption agency Ray of Hope.

In November last year it was confirmed that in some cases reality had been ignored. Researchers who traveled to the country on behalf of Flemish Minister of Welfare Hilde Crevits (CD&V) and examined twelve adoption files found that in at least one case parents had not consciously given their child up for adoption. This was no surprise to some adoptive parents and adoptees: they had already discovered it themselves.

Following these initial results, the minister launched a broad appeal: anyone who had questions about their own adoption or that of their child could report them. 134 people have already done that.

This concerns reports of adoptions dating back to the 1960s and 1950s, as well as adoptions from after 2000. There are 21 countries of origin.

'Sous X'

An additional 25 reports were received about Ethiopia, but also 21 reports about adoptions within our own country. Just like ten reports about adoptions from France, which are adoptions of children who were born 'sous X'. Their mothers, usually Belgian girls, gave birth across the border because this can be done anonymously in France. Other large clusters include 28 reports of adoptions from India and 19 from South Korea - not coincidentally, two countries from which many children were adopted before the turn of the century.

There is also concern about six adoptions from Rwanda, one from Congo, one from the Netherlands, one from Poland, one from Nepal, and so on.

Minister Crevits wants each of these 134 adoptions to be screened again. She invites the 134 people involved to enter into discussions with the Flemish Center for Adoption (VCA) and the Ancestry Center to clarify the question and to see what options there are for additional research in the country of origin. The Adoption Support Center provides care and guidance throughout the entire process. “The thought that your adoption may not have gone correctly in the past has a huge impact,” says Crevits. “We want to show that these concerns are heard and ensure that adoptees, adoptive parents and birth mothers get the support they need.”


Crevits also wants to start a major social-historical study to gain more insight into the way in which adoption was organized in the past. “Today, data is often fragmented across different sites, archives and file collections. By bundling as much data as possible in a database, we should gain a better insight into the extent and causes of the irregularities, such as how such malpractice could arise. The database should also eventually allow the reconstruction of the individual paths of adoptees and their family ties.”

Adoption freeze

The call is still open. Anyone who is concerned about an adoption, or has questions about it, and has not yet registered, can still do so with the Flemish adoption service, the VCA.

It is currently not possible to start new adoption procedures. There is still an adoption freeze in place. The Flemish government decided to do this after the appointment of the Klein Mirakel adoption service as a central adoption service was challenged by the two other services, Ray of Hope and Fiac. An advisory committee ruled that their objection was justified, resulting in the appointment being scrapped. Crevits openly regretted that the three services had not achieved cooperation.

Moreover, the current adoption decree does not provide sufficient legal basis to recognize only one adoption service. We now have to wait for a new adoption decree.