This report discusses concerns raised by participants of Thematic Area 3 (Intercountry Adoption Agencies and the HCIA) of the International Forum on Intercountry Adoption and Global Surrogacy held in August 2014. The aim is to report the views of those participating in this area on the issues raised by the Hague Conference (HCCH) as likely to be matters of concern at the 4th Speial Commission scheduled for June 2015. After an opening session, the Area shared sessions with 4 of the other Thematic Areas and in the reports on those joint sessions there will inevitably be some overlap with the reports from the other areas involved, but this report will seek to view issues from the perspective of the agencies and the Central Authorities responsible for accrediting them and delegating activities as allowed under the 1993 Convention. The issues discussed included the meaning of subsidiarity and the ‘best interests of the child’; the extent to which agencies in receiving States took on board the views of first parents and of the country of origin of the child; the crisis facing agencies and other accredited bodies as the number of intercountry adoptions falls while the children involved are more likely to have ‘special needs’, so that the task of selecting and preparing prospective adoptive parents - and the provision of post-adoption support - becomes more complex at a time when income is falling. This led to an exploration of the meaning of special needs and how agencies should identify such adoptions. Throughout the sessions participants examined the argument that agencies, which had been seen as a solution to the problems of independent adoptions, have become a part of the problem and at worst accused of trafficking and ‘rescue’, ignoring the principle of subsidiarity and the rights of the child and her first family. In a joint session with Thematic Area 5 the possible lessons for cross-border surrogacy from sixty years intercountry adoption were explored and the arguments for a new Hague Convention to deal with this activity examined, with a particular focus on the possibility of accrediting persons and bodies involved.

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International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)
K.E. Cheney (Kristen)
ISS Working Papers - General Series
ISS Working Paper Series / General Series
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Selman, P. (2014). Intercountry Adoption Agencies and the HCIA. (K.E Cheney, Ed.)ISS Working Paper Series / General Series (Vol. 599, pp. 1–35). International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS). Retrieved from