New Council of Europe convention on adoption


New Council of Europe convention on adoption

Strasbourg, 07.05.2008 – The Committee of Ministers has just adopted a new convention on child adoption, on the occasion of its 118th session in Strasbourg.

“The Convention updates the 1967 Convention in the light of social and economic developments in the last 40 years. It improves the procedure for national adoption and makes it more transparent, efficient and resistant to abuse. In this way it also improves the conditions for international adoption” said Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Organisation.

The aim is to take account of social and legal developments while keeping to the European Convention on Human Rights and bearing in mind that the child’s best interests must always take precedence over any other considerations.

New provisions introduced by the convention:

•    The father’s consent is required in all cases, even when the child was born out of wedlock.

•    The child’s consent is necessary if the child has sufficient understanding to give it.

•    It extends to heterosexual unmarried couples who have entered into a registered partnership in States which recognise that institution, and to single. It also leaves States free to extend adoptions to homosexual couples and same sex-couples living together in a stable relationship.

•    The new convention strikes a better balance between adopted children’s right to know their identity and the right of the biological parents to remain anonymous.

•    The minimum age of the adopter must be between 18 and 30, and the age difference between adopter and child should preferably be at least 16 years.

“I know many single parents, including people who have adopted children, who bring up their children in a caring and exemplary manner,. The interest of the child should always be the top consideration. For me, the possibility offered by the Convention to extend the right to be considered for adoption of a child to a single person, represents an important step forward” said the Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis.

The convention will be open for signature at a date to be fixed around mid-November at the handover from the Swedish Chair to the Spanish Chair.



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