The transnational illegal adoption market: A criminological study of the German and Dutch intercountry adoption systems

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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The last half-century has witnessed the emergence of a transnational illegal market in adoptable children. Numerous cases have been uncovered whereby children from the Global South were purchased or kidnapped from their families or orphanages in order to meet the high demand for adoption among couples and individuals in the Global North. This book provides a comprehensive criminological analysis of the phenomenon of child trafficking for adoption purposes. It illustrates the structure and organization of the illegal adoption market and uncovers and explains the criminogenic factors of the German and Dutch adoption system which encourage and facilitate the trafficking in adoptable children. This book does not only explore the weaknesses of relevant national and international legal instruments on intercountry adoption, it also unearths and explains adopters’ cultural attitudes, beliefs and perceptions that facilitate illegal practices within the intercountry adoption system. It is a must read for academics, policy makers and stakeholders in the field of intercountry adoption who care about children’s rights and ethical adoptions.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Klip, André, Supervisor
  • Rutten, Susan, Supervisor
  • Wesseling, Elisabeth, Supervisor
Award date15 May 2019
Place of PublicationDen Haag
Print ISBNs9789462369160
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • transnational adoption
  • children trafficking
  • prevention of ‘underground’ adoption

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