Implications for Adoption. Report of a Seminar (Brussels, Belgium, March 1993)

1 March 1993




PS 021 856

Carroll, Jan; Williams, Sarah

Child Welfare in Europe. 1993: Implications for

Adoption. Report of a Seminar (Brussels, Belgium,

March 1993).

European Forum for Child Welfare, Brussels


Commission of the European Communities, Brussels


Jun 93


European Forum for Child Welfare, 1 Rue Defacqz,

B-1050, Brussels, Belgium (650 BFr, 12.50 British

Pounds, includes postage).

Collected Works Conference Proceedings (021)

Tests/Evaluation Instruments (160)

MF01/PC03 Plus Postage.

*Adopted Children; *Adoption; *Child Welfare; Foreign

Countries; *Foster Care; *International Cooperation;

International Law; Legal Responsibility; Placement;

*Public Policy; Questionnaires

IDENTIFIERS European Community


In 1992, the first year of the establishment of the

European Forum for Child Welfare (EFCW), the European Commission

sponsored a seminar on European Community (EC) implications for

adoption and fostering. The seminar was organized to enable

practitioners, legislators, and policymakers within the EC to start

dialogue on current adoption processes, practices, and procedures,

and to establish baselines of information on current practice and

procedure within the member states. This report contains seminar

presentations, and is divided into the following eight sections: (1)

legal aspects and safeguarding the rights of adopted children; (2)

approval and preparation of applicants to adopt; (3) matching of

child and family; (4) perspectives of adopted children; (5) placement

of special needs children; (6) workshop themes and findings; (7)

recommendations; and (8) an overview of responses to a questionnaire

on European adoption practices. Appendixes include the questionnaire

sent to all seminar participants prior to the seminar; a list of

participants; the seminar program; information on the Hague

Conference on Private International Law; and a preliminary draft

convention on international cooperation and protection of zhildren

with respect to intercountry adoption.


As President of the European Forum for Child Welfare, I am pleased to commend this important

report. EFCW exists to improve the quality of life for children and young people in Europe, and

we hope this document will be widely read by legislators, policy makers and practitioners.

Although the European Community has, as yet, no "competency" in the area of adoption and

fostering, the consequences of the single marketwill inevitably have a profound effect in those

areas of activity within the European Community.

If we are to avoid the damage that results from the sale or traffic in children or the use of

children to satisfy the desires of adults, the very highest standard of practice and clear ethical

principles, in adoption and fostering, must be developed in all member States. We cannot

countenance children fostered or adopted with unsuitable parents.

This report highlights the fact that the similarities in practice which exist throughout the

Community are greater than the differences and a convergence of philosophical attitudes in

relation to adoption is developing across member States. With workers, and therefore

families, being able to move freely across frontiers the differences in criteria for would be

adopters in the member States may not always be in the best interest of the child.

Much remains to be done there should be no complacency, and it is the intention of EFCW

to monitor the effects of the ratification of the Hague Convention on Adoption by member

States and to report accordingly.

Tom White

President EFCW


London. June 1993



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