November 16, 2017

Intercountry Adoption and Child Welfare Legal Reforms

August 2008

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports the implementation of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, which entered into force with respect to the United States on April 1, 2008, so as to advance the responsible practice of intercountry adoption as an integral part of a comprehensive, concurrent strategy to address the problems of children around the world who are without permanent homes;

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports international adoption as an integral part of a comprehensive child welfare strategy to address the worldwide problem of children without permanent homes and supports policies that make the process of international adoption more timely, less costly and less burdensome, while ensuring that international adoption practices are ethical and legal;

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports the provision of comprehensive social services, economic support, and other family preservation resources in countries of origin to parents, or other relatives who have assumed a parental role, so that they can keep and nurture their children, and urges the United States government to provide resources and technical assistance to support such efforts;

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports worldwide development of safe and nurturing family-like temporary care for children without permanent homes pending their reunification with families of origin or their permanent placement with adoptive families, avoiding institutional placements to the greatest extent feasible so as to prevent the detrimental effects of such placements on the cognitive and psychological development of young children;

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports laws, policies, and practices that help assure that in-country adoption, permanent guardianship, and other permanent nurturing placement options are readily available for children without permanent homes; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the U.S. government, state and local governments, bar associations, and relevant non-governmental organizations to promote policies to improve child welfare systems and enhance opportunities for international adoption that are consistent with these policies, in the United States and throughout the world.