SPECIAL COMMISSION ON THE PRACTICAL OPERATION
OF THE 1993 INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION CONVENTION
A major international meeting on intercountry adoption, involving about sixty States from all around the world, as well as several international organisations, is to take place in The Hague from 28 November to 1 December 2000. The meeting, which is to be opened by the Minister of Justice of the Netherlands, Mr A.H. Korthals, will be reviewing the practical operation of the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.
The 1993 Hague Convention already has 41 States Parties with many more, including the United States of America and Russia, preparing to implement it. The Convention places safeguards around intercountry adoption to prevent profiteering and other abuses, to ensure that the international system protects the rights of the child and places his or her interests first, and to provide for the recognition of adoptions internationally. It follows the principle supported by the UN Convention of 1989 on the Rights of the Child that intercountry adoption should only occur when other possibilities for a family life are not available in the child's country of origin.
The approximately 150 experts attending the meeting will be discussing a range of issues including how to eliminate improper financial gain, the process of approving prospective adopters, medical issues concerning the child, access to birth records and the accreditation and supervision of adoption agencies. Delegates will include members of the national Central Authorities responsible for inter-State co-operation under the Convention, as well as other policy makers and practitioners.
The meeting is organised by the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the Hague-based international organisation which was responsible for drawing up not only the Intercountry Adoption Convention of 1993 but several other well known multilateral treaties such as the Convention of 1980 on the International Abduction of Children, and the Convention of 1996 on the Protection of Children.