Hague Adoption Convention

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hague Adoption Convention
Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption
{{{image_alt}}}
Ratifications of the Convention (countries in green have signed, but not ratified; countries in purple have ratified but are non-member states of the organization)
Drafted 29 May 1993
Location The Hague
Effective 1 May 1995
Condition 3 ratifications
Ratifiers 90
Depositary Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Languages French and English

The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (or Hague Adoption Convention) is an international convention dealing with international adoption, child laundering, and child trafficking in an effort to protect those involved from the corruption, abuses and exploitation which sometimes accompanies international adoption.[1] The Convention has been considered crucial because it provides a formal international and intergovernmental recognition of intercountry adoption to ensure that adoptions under the Convention will generally be recognized and given effect in other party countries.

Objectives[edit]

The preamble to the Convention states:

Intercountry adoptions shall be made in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights and to prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children and each State should take, as a matter of priority, appropriate measures to enable the child to remain in the care of his or her family of origin.

The main objectives of the Convention, set out in Article 1, are:

  • to establish safeguards to ensure that intercountry adoptions take place in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights as recognized in international law,
  • to establish a system of co-operation amongst Contracting States to ensure that those safeguards are respected and thereby prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children,
  • to secure the recognition in Contracting States of adoptions made in accordance with the Convention.

History[edit]

The Convention was developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the preeminent organisation in the area of private international law. It was concluded on 29 May 1993 and entered into force on 1 May 1995.[2][3] As of March 2013, the Convention has been ratified by 90 countries. Korea, Haiti, Nepal and the Russian Federation are signatories, but have not ratified it.[4] Many countries which have not ratified the Convention do not permit foreign adoptions of their children nor adoptions of foreign children, for example Muslim countries.

With respect to the previous multilateral instruments which include some provisions regarding intercountry adoption, the Hague Adoption Convention is the major multilateral instrument regulating international adoption which calls for the need for coordination and direct cooperation between countries to ensure that appropriate safeguards are respected.

The Convention also requires that the entire process be authorized by central adoption authorities designated by the contracting states (chapter III of the Convention outlines the roles and responsibilities of these authorities). If fully implemented at the national level, the Convention offers also a protective framework against the risks potentially implied in private adoption (when the adoptive parents set the terms of the adoption directly with the biological parents or with children's institutions placed in the country of origin, without recurring to accredited adoption service providers).[5]

The Convention allows the states discretion with regard to which public authority should be designated as central adoption authority (whose supervision and authorization is necessary to proceed with the adoption, Article 17) and which other bodies should be duly accredited as providers of adoption services (Article 9).[6] If fully implemented at the national level, the Convention offers also a protective framework against the risks potentially implied in private adoption (when the adoptive parents set the terms of the adoption directly with the birth parents, without recurring to accredited bodies).[6]

The Implementation and Operation of the 1993 Intercountry Adoption Convention: Guide to Good Practice, prepared by HCCH, provides assistance to the operation, use and interpretation of the Convention.[7]

To comply with international standards, many changes have been introduced in national legislation enacting laws to criminalize the act of obtaining improper gains from intercountry adoptions.[8] However, instances of trafficking in and sale of children for the purpose of adoption continue to take place in many parts of the world. (see Child laundering.) Especially during emergency situations, natural disasters or conflicts, it has been observed that children are adopted without strict legal procedures being followed, with a risk that there may be cases of child trafficking.[9] It has also been noted that there was an excessive bureaucratization of the adoption process followed the implementation of the Hague Adoption Convention, possibly establishing additional barriers to the placement of children.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Text of Convention". Hague Conference on Private International Law. 7 December 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption
  3. ^ "About Hague Adoption Convention". Hague Conference on Private International Law. 7 December 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Status Table". Hague Conference on Private International Law. 7 December 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Isabelle Lammerant, Marlène Hofstetter, “Adoption: at what cost? For an ethical responsibility of receiving countries in intercountry adoption”, Terre des homes, 2007; HCCH 2008) The implementation and Operation of the 1993 Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention: Guide to Good Practice – Guide No. 1, Bristol: Family Law/Jordan Publishing Ltd
  6. ^ a b Isabelle Lammerant, Marlène Hofstetter, “Adoption: at what cost? For an ethical responsibility of receiving countries in intercountry adoption”, Terre des homes, 2007
  7. ^ The Implementation and Operation of the 1993 Intercountry Adoption Convention: Guide to Good Practice
  8. ^ UNDP, Child Adoption. Trends and Policies Report, 2009
  9. ^ United Nations, “Second Periodic reports of States parties due in 1998, Rwanda (CRC/C/70/Add22)
  10. ^ Elizabeth Bartholet, International Adoption: Current Status and Future Prospects, 1993, p. 95