The Convention on the Rights of the Child vs. The Hague Adoption Convention.

The adoption landscape is complex, with international agreements like the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the Hague Adoption Convention playing significant roles. In this article, we'll explore the crucial distinctions between UNCRC and the HAC, focusing on how they impact children's rights and adoption practices.

Key Differences:

Hague Adoption Convention (HAC):

  • The adoption lobby primarily drives HAC and facilitates international adoption.
  • It grants adoptive parents a certificate, essentially a "right to adopt."
  • Adoption agencies utilize HAC to gain access to children, making it a tool and system for the adoption industry.
  • HAC has been criticized for commodifying and commercializing children, leading to mass production-like processes.
  • When countries ratify HAC, international adoption business thrives, often at the expense of children's inherent rights.
  • The HAC allows the adoption industry to run its business to meet the demand for children from the paying customer.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) :

  • UNCRC, specifically in Article 7, Article 8, and Article 20, enforce children's basic human rights.
  • It emphasizes the right to a name, nationality, and immediate registration after birth.
  • UNCRC prioritizes preserving children's original identity, family, culture, and community.
  • Adoption is considered a last resort under UNCRC, discouraging its commercialization.
  • Article 9 of UNCRC ensures that children should not be separated from their parents against their will.
  • The UNCRC allows for a relationship between the child and their parents. Their biological ties are not severed, and their birth certificates are unchanged.

HAC vs. UNCRC in Decision-Making:

  • HAC grants adoption agencies the authority to decide on separating children from birth families and matching them with adoptive families.
  • UNCRC emphasizes preserving children's identities and family connections.
  • HAC often results in adoption without a child's consent, while UNCRC prioritizes children's rights, reunification, and consent. Article 9 (3) in the UNCRC states parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests.

Conclusion: Understanding the differences between the Hague Adoption Convention (HAC) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is crucial in safeguarding children's rights. While HAC often supports international adoption as an industry, UNCRC preserves children's identities and prioritizes their best interests. By upholding UNCRC principles, we can ensure that children's rights are protected and adoption remains a last resort rather than a business venture.

Visit The United Nations Human Rights office of the High Commissioner.

Visit United Adoptees International