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The recognition of foreign adoptions is always complicated. Especially when the international adoption later turns out not to covered by the provisions of the Hague Adoption Convention or Dutch laws.

Adoptive parents usually do not find out until they have welcomed the child to their family after going through local procedures. Although the parents have Dutch nationality, their own child will not get a Dutch passport. Why not? Usually because the Dutch embassy or the Dutch registrar of births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships does not recognize international adoptions. Our adoption lawyers frequently come across this type of heart-breaking situation. They have the expertise and experience to give you sound advice, and start legal proceedings if necessary.

Just an example: in 2007 one of our adoption lawyers represented a woman who had both Dutch and Brazilian nationality. Due to family circumstances she had been living in both Brazil and the Netherlands for long periods. She was married to a Dutchman who had to stay in the Netherlands as his work made it impossible for him to travel to and from Brazil. In Brazil the woman had taken in a neglected and abused child. As they had become very attached to each other, the woman wanted to adopt the child. Being a national of Brazil, she adopted the child under Brazilian law. The Netherlands, however, did not recognize the adoption and denied the child a residence permit. Our lawyer went to court and had the adoption declared valid under Dutch law. Eventually the child was granted a Dutch passport.

For more information about international adoption, please contact one of our adoption lawyers: Vera Kidjan or Barbara Wegelin.

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Until October 1, 1998, Dutch passports were issued only to children who were adopted in the Netherlands, the Dutch Antilles or Aruba [1]. The possibilities were extended when The Hague Adoption Convention of 1993 came into force [2].

From October 1, 1998, minor children who were adopted outside of the Netherlands in accordance with this Convention would be themselves, legally Dutch if at least one of the adoptive parents is Dutch. This applies only to 'strong' adoptions. [3]

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