Motion for a resolution - B7-0038/2011Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on international adoption in the European Union


further to Question for Oral Answer B7‑0670/2010
pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure

Cecilia Wikström, Renate Weber, Sonia Alfano, Luigi de Magistris, Diana Wallis on behalf of the ALDE Group

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

Procedure : 2010/2960(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on 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, in particular Article 21,

–   having regard to the Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption (signed at The Hague in 1993) and to the European Convention 25 January 1996 on the Exercise of Children's Rights (ETS No. 160),

–   having regard to the European Parliament Resolution on improving legislation and cooperation among member states on adoption of children (A4-0392/1996),

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

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the welfare of each child is of utmost importance,

B.  whereas all EU Member States are signatories to the Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of inter-country adoption,

C. whereas the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Hague Convention describes the family as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of children in the vast majority of cases, as the primary choice for care of the child,

D. whereas if primary care of children is unavailable by the family, adoption should be one of the available natural secondary choices, while placing a child in institutional care should be the very last option,

E.  whereas the views differ throughout the Member States as to the principles which should govern child adoption, the adoption procedures and the legal consequences of adoption,

F.  whereas the acceptance of common revised principles and practices with respect to the adoption of children would help to reduce the difficulties caused by the differences in national legislations and at the same time promote the interests of children who are adopted,

G. whereas in Europe the problem of abandoned children is becoming more serious and urgent and to meet this challenge it is important to protect the right of a child to be adopted also at international level to prevent children from being forced to live in orphanages,

H. whereas there are conventions in force on child protection and parental responsibilities, notably: the European Convention of 1967 on the adoption of minors, aiming to approach the laws of Member States where adoption involves moving the child from one country to another, and the 1993 Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption,

I.   whereas, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Charter of Fundamental Rights has become binding: according to Article 24, 'Children shall have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being'. Furthermore, Article 3 of the Lisbon Treaty states that the 'protection of the rights of the child' falls within the objectives of the Union,

J.   whereas the violation of the rights of children, violence against them and child trafficking for illegal adoption, prostitution, illegal labour, forced marriage, and begging on the streets or for any other illegal purpose, remain a problem in the EU,

K. whereas the best interests of the children are of paramount importance,

1.  Calls on exploring the possibility of coordinating at European level the politics and strategies related to the instrument of the international adoption, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Hague Convention on inter-country adoption and other international standards, to improve assistance in information services, preparation for inter-country adoption, processing of application procedures for international adoption, and post-adoption services, bearing in mind that all international conventions relating to the protection of the rights of the child recognizes the right of orphaned or abandoned children to have a family and be protected;

2.  Considers that adoption in the child’s country of origin or by finding a family through international adoption, must be performed in accordance with relevant national legislation and international conventions, and that placement in an institution should be used only as a temporary solution; an alternative family care solution, such as foster care, could be taken into consideration;

3.  Urges Member States and the Commission, in cooperation with the Hague Conference, the Council of Europe, and children’s organizations to develop a framework to ensure transparency and effective monitoring of the development of the abandoned and the adopted children and to coordinate their actions so as to prevent child trafficking;

4.  Urges Member States to pay particular attention to children with special needs, such as children who require medical care and disabled children;

5.  Recognises that birth certificates help to protect a child against violations based on doubts over age or identity; believes that a reliable system of birth registration can curb illegal adoption;

6.  Calls on all EU institutions and all Member States to participate actively in the fight against illegal adoption;

7.  Calls on all EU Institutions to play a more active role at the Hague Conference to exert pressure on the Conference to improve, streamline and facilitate international adoption while honouring and safeguarding the protection of the rights of children from third countries;

8.  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.