Last March the Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a conditional dismissal to a suspect from Sint Maarten for using a false foreign birth certificate to obtain a Dutch passport for her illegally adopted child. The condition under which the case was dismissed was the payment of Naf. 5.000 within 6 months and the condition that the suspect will not commit any further crime within a probation time of two years.
The birth certificate stated that the suspect was the mother by birth of a child born in a neighboring Caribbean country. This information was false, because the child was born from a woman, being an inhabitant of that neighboring country.
When the baby was born, the suspect had asked the mother of the baby and a local physician to help her illegally adopt the child. By doing so, she not only altered the origin of the child, which in itself is a criminal offence, but she also deprived the foreign government and the government of the former Netherlands Antilles of the ability to properly investigate whether the adoption was in the best interest of the child.
Furthermore the suspect mislead the Government of Sint Maarten in order to obtain a Dutch passport for her child. It was this crime, an application on false grounds, together with the possession of the false foreign papers, that was held against the suspect in this case. The suspect confessed to both crimes.
Since the illegal adoption happened many years ago, the Prosecutor’s Office chose not to prosecute the suspect in court but offered her a conditional dismissal. A public court hearing would most certainly not be in the interest of the child involved.
This month the suspect paid the full amount of Naf. 5.000. The case is now closed.
In future cases of a similar kind in which only a short time has passed since the illegal adoption, the Prosecutor’s Office will aim for a prosecution in a public court session. Suspects will have to reckon with prison sentences and equally high fines. Furthermore, a conviction could affect the civil status of the child involved.