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Adoption - International Adoptions

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Concern with an increasing incidence of children from one country being adopted in another led, in 1993, to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption (Pfund 1993). The increase in international adoptions in recent times is due to a decline in the birth rate in certain countries, coupled with relatively high fertility rates in other countries, possibly accompanied by social disruption because of war, disease, famine, and poverty. The Convention attempts to address a number of concerns. First, it seeks to ensure that the children are legitimately available for adoption. Second, the Convention requires reasonable efforts to find a permanent placement in the child's country of origin. Finally, the Convention aims to ensure that the placement in the receiving country is one that will benefit the child, and, in particular, that the adoptive parents are suitable (Bartholet 2000; Rosettenstein 1995). Many countries have ratified the Convention and modified their laws to meet its requirements.

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DAVID S. ROSETTENSTEIN

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