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Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and National Child Strategy team launch a joint study on international adoptions

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 27.5.2022 10.34 | Published in English on 31.5.2022 at 17.11
Press release 137/2022

As part of the implementation of the National Child Strategy, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Child Strategy team will launch a joint study to explore earlier and ongoing work done by other countries to examine international adoptions and related shortcomings.

The study focuses particularly on matters and phenomena which correspond to the situation with international adoptions in Finland and the principles governing them.

The conclusions and observations from the study will help to evaluate the possible problems, ambiguities and their scope regarding international adoptions in Finland. The study can also be used as a background paper when possible other studies on international adoptions are conducted. 

The study will be completed and published in autumn 2022. 

International adoptions spark discussion in many European countries

Recently, there has been discussion on international adoptions in many European countries that receive adoptive children. The media have reported suspicions of unethical practices, and especially the abuses of the system detected in old adoption processes have given rise to a lot of public discussion. 

According to the statistics kept by the Finnish Adoption Board since 1985, about 5,000 internationally adopted children arrived in Finland between 1985 and 2020. The Board’s section for international matters has stated that supervisory practices and public discussion in Finland have not raised suspicions about similar large-scale abuses of the system like in Sweden and the Netherlands, for example.

According to the Finnish Adoption Board, the discussion on adoption in Europe has raised concerns and confusion among adoptive families, people applying for adoption and adoptees in Finland. Professionals and organisations working in adoption have therefore pointed out that it would also be necessary to conduct a similar kind of study on international adoptions in Finland.


Johanna Laisaari, Secretary General for the National Child Strategy,
tel. +358 295161177, [email protected] (from 31 May 2022)
Anna Cantell-Forsbom, Director of Children and Young People Unit, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 
tel. +358 295163351, [email protected] (absent between 31 May and 2 June 2022)

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