Save the Children Intercountry Adoption Policy Brief

Globally, tens of thousands of children are adopted from one country to another every year, with the vast majority of them being adopted from developing to developed countries. While the number of international adoptions in the last several years has declined, there were still approximately 24,000 children internationally adopted in 2011. Research has shown that growing up in a supportive family environment is crucial to the successful development of a child and, where other family-based options are not possible, intercountry adoption has allowed for abandoned, orphaned or children with disabilities to be raised within a loving family from another country.

Effective regulation of intercountry adoption, however, is essential to ensure the best possible solution for each and every child. It is also critical that commercial or criminal gain, fraud, child trafficking, and the deception of the birth parents do not play any part in the adoption process. The brief presents a set of specific recommendations in relation to intercountry adoption, with particular attention being paid to the principle of the best interests of the individual child - a paramount consideration in making a decision regarding the adoption.

Published 2012-06-19