Stibbe advises Bureau Clara Wichmann on appeal in birth mother case
The Dutch state forced at least 13,000 women to give up their newborn babies between 1956 and 1984. These birth mothers suffered a great deal of distress as a result, and many of them are still feeling the pain today. Together with Bureau Clara Wichmann, birth mother Trudy Scheele-Gertsen filed a lawsuit against the State, focused on the role of the Child Protection Board. However, the District Court of The Hague ruled early last year that the State could not be held liable. The court also ruled that the Child Protection Board, and therefore the State, did not act in a structurally legally culpable manner because its actions allegedly reflected the spirit of the age.
Trudy Scheele-Gertsen and Bureau Clara Wichmann, on behalf of other birth mothers, have refused to accept the court's ruling. They believe that the women's suffering should be acknowledged and that it is precisely the State that should have protected these women from this social and religious pressure. They are now appealing on that ground.
Four Stibbe lawyers are handling this case on appeal pro bono. They are doing so in cooperation with Lisa-Marie Komp of Prakken d'Oliveira.