EurAdopt 2016 Conference “the Relevance of Adoption - Improving the life for children who cannot live with their family

Last Updated: Monday, 20 June 2016 Published: Thursday, 16 June 2016

Please find the presentations of the speakers who have agreed on publication as well as some additional articles.

The EurAdopt 2016 Conference took place on the 1st and 2nd of June 2016 in Utrecht (The Netherlands).

The theme of the one and a half day Conference was: “The relevance of Adoption -Improving life for children who cannot live with their family”. A total of 250 guests from 25 countries participated in the Conference, including 35 representatives from 10 European Central Authorities. 

The Conference aimed to show intercountry adoption in a broader framework. Alternative forms of care for children who cannot live with their biological parents in countries of origin were described and discussed on the first day of the conference. On the second day the necessities of adoptees in the receiving countries were discussed.

In the Netherlands many adoptees are adult, empowered, and united in organizations. Therefore, next to presentations by scientists and experts from the adoption practice, the voice of the adoptees was present in a number of ways during the conference. Adoptees talked about the effects of adoption, in four panel sessions they discussed outcomes together with a birth parent and an adoptive parent. Over sixty posters with phrases and illustrations made by adoptees and adoptive parents on adoption decorated the conference room. Chairwoman Annette Goltstein regularly engaged the conference participants in discussions and both critical and content adoptees shared their points of view. The presence of birthmothers was highly appreciated by the conference participants.

Specifically for this conference a vast internet survey was conducted among adult adoptees in the Netherlands, in which they were asked how satisfied they are about adoption and how they are doing. The survey has been completed by over 1,200 adoptees in the age of 18 - 55 years, in this way giving an ‘inside view’ into the relevance of adoption. The majority of the adoptees turned out to be satisfied with their life and their adoption – with even higher average satisfaction than the average Dutch population. This does not mean that there are no issues bothering the adoptees. This was seen for 6-10% of the adoptees and was reflected in the discussions. The survey showed that for the satisfaction of life feelings around relinquishment and adoption, discrimination issues and a good feeling about the adoptive family were the most important factors.


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