Procedure : 2010/2960(RSP)
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Document selected : B7-0036/2011

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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0029/2011

further to Question for Oral Answer B7‑0670/2010

pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure

on abandoned children and international adoption in the European Union

Jiří Maštálka on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on abandoned children and international adoption in the European Union  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989,

–   having regard to the 1967 European Convention on the Adoption of Children,

–   having regard to the 1993 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption,

–   having regard to the UNICEF position on inter-country adoption of January 2004,

–   having regard to the 1996 Council of Europe’s European Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights,

–   having regard for national law regarding the family and adoption in the European Union’s 27 Member States,

–   having regard to the European Parliament Resolution on improving legislation and cooperation among Member States on adoption of children (A4–0392/96),

–   having regard to the European Parliament Resolution 16 January 2008 on an EU strategy on children’s rights (2007/2093 (INI)),

–   having regard to the question of 16 December 2010 to the Commission on international adoption in the European Union (O-0193/2010 – B7 0670/2010),

– having regard to Rules 115(5) and 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,


A.  whereas poverty, inadequate social welfare systems, lack of sufficient state network of social infrastructures, conflicts and military interventions are the main roots which cause child abandonment,




B.  whereas the number of international adoptions, globally, has nearly doubled each year with the vast majority of international adoptions currently involve children moving from developing to developed countries,

C. whereas adoption policies and national law for adoption in the Member States vary widely,

D. whereas the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child emphasises the preference for children being raised by family members, rather than by adoptive families, and clearly states that international adoption should only be considered as a last resort,

E.  whereas all decisions relating to children, including adoptions, should be made with the best interests of the child as the primary consideration,

F.  whereas the 1993 Hague Convention on International Adoptions is an important instrument, promoting ethical and transparent processes, undertaken in the best interests of the child,

G. whereas lack of regulation and oversight, particularly in the countries of origin, coupled with the potential for financial gain, has spurred the growth of an industry around adoption, where profit, rather than the best interests of children, takes centre stage,

H. whereas the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union addresses the issue on the rights of children and states that ‘the best interest of the child must be the primary consideration on all actions relating to children’,

1.  Points out that international adoption may becomes a market in which children are the goods for sale, characterised by a one-way flow of children from poor and emerging states into developed countries;

2. States that any form of adoption can not deal effectively with child abandonment if are not addressed the causes that create it, namely the poverty, inadequate social welfare systems and conflicts;

3.  Underlines the risk international adoption to be a practice that disregards children's rights and that it does not necessarily serve their best interests; the present tendencies of international adoption go against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which stipulates that if a child is deprived of his or her family the alternative solutions considered must pay due regard to the desirability of continuity in the child's upbringing and to his or her cultural background;

4.  Points out the dangers of child trafficking, and the coinciding exploitation and abuses of adopted children;

5. Condemns all criminal acts committed in the context of facilitating adoption, as well as the commercial tendencies and practices that include the use of psychological or financial pressure on vulnerable families, the arranging of adoptions directly with families, the conceiving of children for adoption, the falsification of paternity documents and adoption via the Internet;

6.  Underlines that mechanisms to ensure safe practices cannot be left to private adoption institutions;

7.  Calls the Member States to ensure that robust legal and policy frameworks are in place, to improve decisively public infrastructures with free of charge public services for children, to protect vulnerable families, and to build capacity of the social welfare sectors;

8.  Stresses that the developing and underdeveloped countries of origin of adopted children must be helped to develop their own adoption laws and to train the government and agency staff of the public sector involved in adoption. In the receiving countries, prospective parents must be given preparation for international adoption, and the progress (especially the psychological wellbeing) of adopted foreign children must be monitored;

9.  Urges Member States to establish safeguards to ensure that inter country adoptions take place in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights as recognised in international law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; calls the Member States to establish a system of cooperation to ensure that those safeguards are respected and thereby prevent the abduction, sale of, or traffic in children;

10. Urges national authorities of Member States to ensure that, during the transition to full implementation of the Hague Convention, the best interests of each individual child are protected;

11. Calls upon the Member States to put into action the principles regarding inter-country adoption which are contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child; these include ensuring that adoption is authorised only by competent authorities, that inter-country adoption enjoys the same safeguards and standards which apply in national adoptions, and that inter-country adoption does not result in improper financial gain for those involved in it;

12. Calls the Commission and Member States to guarantee the application of children's rights and develop social and family policies that put children first;

13. Urges Member States to pay particular attention to children with special needs, such as children who require medical care and disabled children, unaccompanied child migrants and refugees;

14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the President of the European Council, the Council, the Commission and the parliaments and governments of the Member States.


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