Adopting from Netherlands
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
About The Netherlands
The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but suffered invasion and occupation by Germany in World War II. To learn more please read About Netherlands.
Hague Convention Information
The Netherlands is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore all adoptions between Netherlands and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention. To learn more please read about Netherlands and the Hague Convention.
Who Can Adopt
Adoption between the United States and the Netherlands is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from the Netherlands, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. To learn more please read about Who Can Adopt from Netherlands.
Who Can Be Adopted
Because the Netherlands is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, Dutch children must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that the Netherlands attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to the Dutch requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.
To be eligible for adoption in the Netherlands, a child should be under six years old and the age difference between the future parent and the child should be no more than 40 years (certain exceptions apply to both conditions).
How to Adopt
The Ministry of Justice is responsible for adoptions:
Ministry of Justice
Directie Justitiele Jeugdbescherming Centrale Autoriteit Internationale Adoptie PO Box 20301, 2500 EH Den Haag, The Netherlands
All contact with the Ministry should be made through the Foundation for Adoption Services (Stichting Adoptievoorzieningen) listed hereafter.
The Ministry is not, however, directly involved in the initial adoption procedures. To request an application for a "permit in principle" (Beginseltoestemming) to begin the adoption process, prospective adoptive parents should contact:
Stichting Adoptievoorzieningen (Foundation for Adoption Services)
Postbus 290, 3500 AG Utrecht The Netherlands Tel: +31 30 233 0340 Fax: +31 30 232 1777 Email: (messages via website below)
Because the Netherlands is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from the Netherlands must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.
NOTE: If you filed your I-600a with the Netherlands before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption. Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. Learn more.
1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider 2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt 3. Be Matched with a Child 4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States 5. Adopt the Child in the Netherlands 6. Bring your Child Home
To learn more about this process please read How to Adopt from Netherlands.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Netherlands. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports. Getting or renewing a passport is easy. To learn more please read about Traveling Abroad in Netherlands.
What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some good places to start your support group search:
NOTE: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
Intercountry Adoption, Bureau of Consular Affairs. U.S. Department of State Country Information adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_info.php?country-select=netherlands