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Brussels, 30 November 2009

Council of Europe and European Commission urge European countries to take steps to ensure the best interests of the child in adoption procedures

What can be done to make sure that children’s voices are heard and their rights respected during adoptions? That is a question which the European Commission and the Council of Europe intends to respond to at a joint conference on Challenges in Adoption Procedures in Europe: Ensuring the Best Interests of the Child.

Commission Vice President Jacques Barrot, in charge of Justice, Freedom and Security, said: " The best interest of the child is a matter of the utter importance, mainstreamed in all the policy areas, and it becomes paramount when dealing with adoption procedures. In this respect, the European Union, together with the Council of Europe, can provide a real added value by ensuring that children's rights are respected and that adoption is an instrument aimed at giving a family to a child (and not a child to a family). The European Commission can play an important role in the correct implementation of the principles expressed by the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the child and the Hague Convention on Inter-country adoption."

The conference will take place on 30 November and 1 December, in Strasbourg. The first day of the conference will focus on national adoption and the second day on international adoption. In this respect, participants will consider the operation of the 1993 Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, the specific problems encountered by European Union Member States and the findings of comparative studies on the matter carried out by the European Commission and the European Parliament.

The discussions will also cover:

  • the Council of Europe revised Convention on adoption of 2007 and the best interests of the child;

  • the children and the adults in the adoption process;

  • the role and responsibility of the State authorities;

  • access to one’s origins: striking a balance between the different parties involved;

  • from national adoption to international adoption:

  • the operation of the 1993 Hague Convention on Adoption;

  • the right to a family in the international legal framework and in practical experience;

  • the added value of a European adoption policy.

Representatives of European Union and Council of Europe Member States, legal practitioners and institutions and associations involved in adoption will take part in the discussions. The conference will be opened by Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe and by Alain Brun, acting Director of Directorate Justice of the European Commission.

Practical information:

The conference will begin at 9.30 am on Monday 30 November (Palais de l’Europe, Room 1).

It will be webcast live:

To get accreditation please contact at the Council of Europe:

Estelle Steiner, Press officer

Tel +33 (0)3 88 41 33 35, mobile +33 (0)6 08 46 01 57,

More information:

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