Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Adoption and the Convention on the Rights of the Child

We all know about the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, but before the Hague Convention there was the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Here are a few things it has to say about adoption and related issues:
Article 21

States Parties that recognize and/or permit the system of adoption shall ensure that the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration and they shall:

* * *

(b) Recognize that inter-country adoption may be considered as an
alternative means of child's care, if the child cannot be placed in a foster or an adoptive family or cannot in any suitable manner be cared for in the child's country of origin;

(c) Ensure that the child concerned by inter-country adoption enjoys
safeguards and standards equivalent to those existing in the case of national adoption;

(d) Take all appropriate measures to ensure that, in inter-country
adoption, the placement does not result in improper financial gain for those involved in it

* * *

So Article 21 clearly permits international adoption, but note that it is phrased in such a way that international adoption is a last resort, when a child cannot be cared for in-country. That's as it should be in my opinion. Though it calls for preventing improper financial gain in international adoption, we know that it hasn't been that successful.

Article 7
1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.

* * *

A few thoughts: Does "parent" for the purposes of the CRC include birth parents? Does the "right to know . . . his or her parents" translate into a right to information about birth parents?

Article 8
1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference.

2. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of
his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.

A few thoughts: How broadly can we read "identity?" Can it be argued that this includes birth parent info, etc.? Is a child trafficked into international adoption "illegally deprived of some or all elements of his or her identity?" Does the CDC then require States to cooperate in searching out birth parents in cases of trafficking? Does the CDC exclude such a duty when a child is NOT "illegally deprived" of identity?

Interesting stuff (at least for me it is!).

1 comment:

Very Mad at Miley said...

I am glad you are on this - you go girl!