CyberDodo for the Rights Governing Adoption Practices (2-18)

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Article 21 specifies: ‘In the authorising country, adoption cannot occur without taking into account the higher interests of the child. The state will ensure that all the guarantees are in place, as well as all the authorisations by the competent authorities.’

It is fundamental to specify from the start that there is no better framework for the harmonious development of a child than loving and capable biological parents. Unfortunately this does not always happen for many reasons and a child may find himself ‘in need of a family’.

We will not talk about temporary foster measures in this file, but only about adoption (On this subject, see episode 2-17).

Finally, we would like to suggest that everyone who is interested in the idea of ‘the higher interests of the child’ should check the case file with specific focus on this subject by clicking here.

What is child adoption all about?

In summary, we could say that it concerns the establishment of a family link (Siblings and Parents) which is not of biological origin. A child who has no family (Because he is an orphan, because his parents have abandoned him, etc.) will be officially declared the son or the daughter of a couple (Or possibly of a single person, in countries where this is permitted) with whom he has no blood links.

What are the Conventions covering adoption?

In addition to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted in 1989, a specific Convention was concluded in 1993 in the Hague, the Netherlands. Its aim is to define an international framework for adoption which respects the higher interests of children and stops criminals from using this noble pretext to sell them, kidnap them, etc.

In order to get there, cooperation between the signatory states was established. In 2009, 70 countries had ratified it. You can find the full list by clicking here

Adoption is giving a child the family he has the right to have

Why adoption?

No one in our days would ever dare oppose the idea that in order to ensure the harmonious development of a child, he needs to live within a loving family. But how can this be done if the circumstances of life have deprived him of his family?

On the other hand, there are numerous families which do not have children (Or which have some already, but would like to have more) and who are ready to take in orphans or abandoned children, so adoption helps combine these 2 aspirations for their common wellbeing.

How does adoption generally take place?

Although it is not the subject of this case file, it must be recalled that the lack of registration with the Civil State largely affects the treatment of children who otherwise do not officially exist (See particularly the case files on the Right to a Name and the Right to a Nationality).

In the vast and sensitive domain of the Rights of the Child, everything is connected. All adoption procedures can only begin if the child has first of all registered with the Civil State authorities of this country, which means that the authorities are aware of his personal situation.

The process of adoption takes place after the examination of several criteria, such as:
The child is effectively deprived of his family or the child has been officially abandoned
The relevant institutions have been informed and are involved
The national authorities have given their approval
and based on these a child will be considered as adoptable. From there, the process can be very different from one country to another and from one continent to another.

If it is a rich (some say ‘developed’) country, the future family shall in most cases be found inside that country, as it is always preferable for the future integration of the child for him not to be culturally uprooted; this is even more important where an unweaned child is involved.

Where it concerns poor countries or more generally international adoption, the principles of cooperation have been established between the country of origin and the receiving country, with the Hague Convention constituting the legal basis of their relationship.

Without going into the details of the procedure, the first stage consists of an assessment of the adoptive families as good parents; this is particularly in the moral, psychological, emotional and material areas, etc. This assessment and agreement that must be obtained is the basis of all adoption.

Once this agreement has been obtained, the adoptive families may then deposit an official application and express their ‘preference’ about the country of origin of the child and possibly his age, etc.

Next, different administrative and judicial phases shall take place until the marvellous time where the child shall finally be in the arms of his parents. The whole of this process may take several years.

Is there only one type of adoption?

No, according to the countries, their legislation and their culture, different legal forms of adoption do or do not exist. It shall not be possible to mention all of them in this case file, we suggest that you approach the structures in your country for any possible specific information.

For example, in Islamic countries, a child deprived of his family is entrusted to another one according to the principles of kafala (Commitment to care compassionately for a child, protect, educate him, etc.).

Does an adopted child have the same rights as a biological child?

Yes of course! A true authentic family link is established between him and his parents.

Does adoption cost money?

No, with the exception of the costs of the case file and its processing (Legal, administrative, etc.). There can be no exchange of money between biological and adoptive parents.

To see the cartoon on adoption, click here

To do the quizzes, click here

For the games, click here

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