From 4 to 8 July 2022, the Fifth Meeting of the Special Commission on the Practical Operation of the 1993 Adoption Convention was held online. The meeting was attended by nearly 400 participants, representing HCCH Members, non-Member States, and Observers from intergovernmental and international nongovernmental organisations, as well as by members of the Permanent Bureau.
Over the course of five days, delegates discussed a number of questions in relation to the practical operation of the 1993 Adoption Convention, that HCCH Members and Contracting Parties had identified through their responses to questionnaires distributed in advance of the meeting.
The Special Commission reviewed the draft Toolkit on Preventing and Addressing Illicit Practices in Intercountry Adoption, developed by the Working Group on Preventing and Addressing Illicit Practices in Intercountry Adoption, as well as the draft Recommended Model Forms for use under the 1993 Adoption Convention, and approved them, in principle, subject to certain amendments. Both will be submitted to the Council on General Affairs and Policy in 2023 for final approval and publication.
Post-adoption matters featured prominently in the discussions, resulting in several recommendations to Contracting Parties aimed at developing specialised and quality post-adoption services, including in the search for origins. Intrafamily adoptions and alternatives to full adoption, such as simple and open adoptions, were also discussed.
Reaffirming the value of technical assistance in supporting States in the successful implementation and operation of the Convention, the Special Commission urged States to continue to support technical assistance and encouraged States to request technical assistance if needed.