In the United States, more than 10 years after signing the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, the U.S. is finally close to implementing the global treaty. The treaty, which hopefully will be ratified next year, will govern all adoptions that take place in the countries that have ratified it. While it will be against the law for Americans to adopt a child from countries that have ratified the treated but are not obeying its rules, Americans can still adopt children from countries that have not signed the treaty.
The Hague Convention is seen as a major step for making international adoptions safer for children, as well for biological and adoptive parents.
Countries will have to follow specific procedures and guidelines, including:
· Adoption agencies being required to work harder to collect health information about the children, as well as information about a child’s biological parents.
· Establishing a central authority to monitor all of a country’s adoptions.
· Ensuring that any person or agency that arranges an adoption is accredited. The Council on Accreditation and the Colorado Department of Human Services will take care of the accreditation process in the U.S.
· Requiring agencies to disclose the full cost of adoption at the start of the process.
69 Countries in six continents are parities to the convention.
In the United States last year, there were nearly 23,000 international adoptions. The price of an international adoption is currently in the range of $15,000 to $30,000.
The U.S. State Department provides the following information regarding the implementation of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.
Convention Facts · The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption was completed and circulated for member countries’ comments on May 29, 1993, under the auspices of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. Currently, 68 countries have joined the Convention.
· The Convention strengthens protections for adopted children. Its key principles include:
1) Ensuring that intercountry adoptions take place in the best interests of children.
2) Preventing the abduction, exploitation, sale, or trafficking of children.
· The Convention is expected to enter into force for the United States in 2007. At that time, private adoption service providers will generally need to be accredited, temporarily accredited, or approved, or supervised by a provider that is accredited, temporarily accredited, or approved, in order to provide adoption services in cases involving the United States and another Convention country.
The U.S.’s Intercountry Adoption Act, which was signed into law on October 6, 2000, names the Department of State as the U.S. Central Authority for the Convention. Implementing the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption is a top priority for the Department. The Department has held public meetings, conducted extensive research, and reviewed and considered over 1,500 public comments on the Proposed Rule. The Department of State has also added professional staff to work exclusively on implementing the Convention in the United States and is in process of designating accrediting entities and signing them.
If you live in Santa Clara County, Monterey County, or Alameda County, and you would like to begin the process of adopting a child from a foreign country, contact Sagaria Law, P.C. for a free consultation.
Rules Set To Change On Foreign Adoptions, Post-Gazette.com, November 2, 2006
Implementation of The Hague Convention On Intercountry Adoption, U.S. State Department
Related Web Resources:
Text of the Hague Convention On Intercountry Adoption (PDF)
Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000