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Intercountry adoption: ensuring that the best interests of the child are upheld

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 12597 | 18 April 2011

Ms Marlene RUPPRECHT, Germany, SOC ; Mr Francis AGIUS, Malta, EPP/CD ; Mr Miloš ALIGRUDIĆ, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Ms Karin ANDERSEN, Norway, UEL ; Mr Gagik BAGHDASARYAN, Armenia, ALDE ; Lord Tim BOSWELL, United Kingdom, EDG ; Ms Karmela CAPARIN, Croatia, EPP/CD ; Mr Michael CONNARTY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Stanislav FOŘT, Slovak Republic, ALDE ; Ms Cindy FRANSSEN, Belgium, EPP/CD ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Dzhema GROZDANOVA, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Mike HANCOCK, United Kingdom, ALDE ; Mr Michail KATRINIS, Greece, SOC ; Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Dirk Van der MAELEN, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Bernard MARQUET, Monaco, ALDE ; Ms Sandra OSBORNE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Marc SPAUTZ, Luxembourg, EPP/CD ; Ms Tineke STRIK, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Italy, EPP/CD

According to Unicef, since the 1960s, the number of intercountry adoptions has increased. Most intercountry adoption involves the adoption of children in developing countries by parents living in a developed country. These adoptions are frequently subject to legal procedures. However, a number of abuses are possible, including trafficking in and abduction of children, illegal adoption, falsification of documents and corruption. These risks are increased by conflict situations or natural disasters, at which times there is a weakening of social services and supervision mechanisms.

All intercountry adoptions should take place in compliance with The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Council of Europe’s European Convention on the Adoption of Children (ETS 58). These standards emphasise the principle of upholding the best interests of the child and of legal, transparent and clear adoption procedures. Authorisation of an intercountry adoption must be based on the informed consent of the parties involved and be issued by the competent authorities in the country of origin and country of destination.

The Parliamentary Assembly calls on member states to comply with the international texts in the field of adoption and to ensure that intercountry adoption procedures uphold the best interests of the child and are conducted legally and transparently.