Information Note to States and Central Authorities: Haiti earthquake and intercountry adoption of children

The Secretariat of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (the Hague Conference), noting with great concern the tragic situation in Haiti and the high number of children victims of the recent earthquake, would like to make the following information available to governments, international organisations and the public.

Following the earthquake, many children have become separated from their families and may find themselves without shelter, food, water or other basic necessities. They may also be at risk of illegal adoptions, abduction, sale and child trafficking. The primary concern should be the safety of these children and some consideration is being given to the possible need for evacuation. However, evacuation should not be confused with intercountry adoption which is a more radical measure changing the parenthood of a child. Adoptions should always be made in the best interests of the child, with respect for his or her fundamental rights and all safeguards should be respected to prevent, among others, the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children. 

Published 2019-05-06