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The Hague Covention

16 February 2006

State Department Issues Final Rules on Intercountry Adoption
Regulations to implement Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions

The United States came a step closer to implementing the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions when it issued final rules February 15 relating to accreditation of adoption agencies.

The Hague Convention -- formally known as the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption -- sets minimum international standards and procedures for adoptions that occur between implementing countries to ensure greater protection from exploitation of children, birth parents and adoptive parents.

This multinational treaty was approved by 66 nations on May 29, 1993, at The Hague. The United States signed it on March 31, 1994.

The State Department’s rules outline standards and procedures for accrediting nonprofit agencies and approving for-profit U.S. adoption service providers who seek to provide international adoption services in cases subject to the Hague Convention.

These rules, published in the Federal Register on February 15, take effect March 17. This action is a necessary step toward bringing the convention into force for the United States.

The Hague Convention aims to prevent abuses such as the abduction, sale or trafficking of children and to ensure proper consent to the adoption, as well as allowing for the child’s transfer to the receiving country and establishing the adopted child’s status in the receiving country....