Intercountry adoption needs better rules and regulations

Leading adoption experts have called for intercountry adoption
to be cleaned up, with better regulation in countries of origin and
receiving countries.

Romania was targeted for criticism by Carolyn Hamilton of the
Children’s Legal Centre. She said that over the past decade
children had been flooding out of the country. There was little
compliance with the concept that intercountry adoption should only
be used as a last resort.

She told delegates that in Romania large sums of money were
being paid to agencies, often based in the US, which were
unaccountable and unregulated.

Hamilton also said that a “points system” introduced by Romania
in an attempt to reduce the flow of children to other countries,
and to ensure adequate resources for local preventive and child
welfare services, had backfired. As a result, the number of
children adopted rose from 1,057 children in 1995 to 2,500 in

While agencies were attempting to introduce more stringent
controls in an attempt to take out the financial incentives,
Romania was also unlikely to be able to afford losing the estimated
$125 million dollars that intercountry adoption brought in each

Hamilton also said she had “real doubts about the Hague
Convention”, adding: “I think there are questions about whether the
convention makes something socially acceptable when it really

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