On 31 May 2023, the Permanent Bureau of the HCCH hosted an online event on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the 1993 Adoption Convention.
The event consisted of three roundtables featuring adoption experts from around the world, as well as persons with lived experiences in intercountry adoption. On this anniversary, it was important to recall the reasons why this Convention was adopted in 1993 and how it has been implemented in its now 105 Contracting Parties, looking at good practices developed over these past 30 years, as well as the challenges still remaining.
The first roundtable “Learning from the past” discussed, among others, the situation of intercountry adoption before the Convention was adopted, especially illicit practices. It also examined the progressive implementation of the Convention and the changes it brought in States which became party to it.
In the second roundtable “Lived experiences”, two adoptees, a birth mother and an adoptive mother shared their experiences and emphasised the importance of including persons with lived experiences – some of whom have not only the experience but also the expertise – in the discussions.
Lastly, in the third roundtable “Looking to the future”, the experts presented their views on the future of intercountry adoption and, in particular, the 1993 Adoption Convention. They emphasised the need to ensure the proper implementation of the Convention, along with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, so that if intercountry adoption needs to take place, it is in the best interest of the child and with respect for their fundamental rights as recognised in international law.
The event concluded with the launch of the HCCH publication, “Toolkit for Preventing and Addressing Illicit Practices in Intercountry Adoption”, where it was underscored that it is of the utmost importance to prevent and address illicit practices in intercountry adoption.
More information on the 1993 Adoption Convention is available on the Adoption Section of the HCCH website. Further information on this online event can be found under “Workshops and Seminars”.