Intercountry adoption: reinforcing legislation to ensure that the child’s best interests are upheld

Strasbourg, 30.11.2012 – In a resolution adopted today by the PACE Standing Committee meeting in Andorra, the Assembly called on member states to reinforce their policies on intercountry adoption in order to pursue this practice under secure conditions while respecting the best interests of the child. In some cases of intercountry adoption, children’s human rights are clearly violated, with children falling victim to “child laundering” practices involving the abduction and sale of children, the coercion or manipulation of birth parents, falsification of documents and bribery.

In line with the proposals made by the rapporteur on this issue, Marlene Rupprecht (Germany, SOC), the Assembly urges member states to establish fully supervised intercountry adoption procedures involving a central public authority and to develop strict rules for the setting up and operation of specialist child adoption agencies. The text adopted also recommends establishing procedures to ensure that children foreseen for intercountry adoption are truly in need and that no better care alternative exists in their country of origin. Foreign children who are adopted should be closely monitored before, during and for an adequate number of years after the adoption process.

At Council of Europe level, member states should ensure that the issue of intercountry adoption is considered in the context of the Strategy on the Rights of the Child (2012-2015).