Why Are There So Many Regulations in International Adoption

Dawn Davenport


how does the Universal Accreditation Act Change International AdoptionsOn the Creating a Family show yesterday we received the following question about why there are so many regulations with international adoption compared to domestic adoptions.

Why are there so many regulation for international adoption and so few for domestic adoption. We’ve done both within the last 2.5 years and the comparison is almost comical.

Another Darn Regulation

The Universal Accreditation Act took effect on July 14, 2014.  What is basically means to adoptive parents is that from now on they must use a Hague accredited adoption agency and will not longer be able to adopt independently. This is nothing new if the country is a Hague country, but will likely increase the costs and potentially the hassle of international adoptions from non-Hague countries. The UAA will apply even if the placing country limits the involvement of adoption agencies and applies even to kinship adoption.

Keep in mind that it will also add the protections of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Treaty to those adopting from non-Hague countries.

Why So Many Rules

Adoption lawyer and Chief Operating Officer of MLJ Adoptions, Nicole Skellenger, pointed out on the show that one of the reasons for more regulations in international adoptions was the involvement of four sets of laws vs. one set of laws for domestic adoption. International adoptions must comply with state law, US federal law, the placing countries laws, and international law. Domestic adoption must comply with only state law.

While I agree with her, I think it goes deeper than that. The US government has less control and less trust over international adoptions, and perhaps with good reason.

If you are planning on adopting internationally from a non-Hague country you really must listen to this show. Our other guest was Robin Sizemore, Exec. Director or Hopscotch Adoptions.



31/07/2014 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Adoption, Adoption Blog, Blog | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Why Are There So Many Regulations in International Adoption

  1. Avatar Kendra Cyrus says:

    I think regulations are needed for protecting vulnerable children from being adopted by wrong parents.

  2. Avatar jeze says:

    Here is the article about the Makeni families. http://www.thisissierraleone.com/the-stolen-makeni-children-a-court-finds-that-the-adoptees-from-sierre-leone-were-in-fact-kidnapped/

    Ten years is too long. Irreplaceable years for the Makeni children and their families.

  3. Avatar jeze says:

    I think that is why some people have criticisms against adoption and/or the Hague Treaty. Adoption and the Hague International Adoption Treaty don’t do anything to clean up corruption. The Hague was never designed to clean up corruption. That is what Departments of Justice, international laws, and law enforcement are supposed to do. The Hague is based on the premise that there was no corruption. Unfortunately, DOJ, etc hasn’t been cleaning up corruption. In fact, some say that adoption and/or Hague INCREASES corruption. I would agree with them. The demand for adoption and other people’s children by wealthy people and countries is what drives the corruption.

    What is needed is for a concerted effort to NOT support corrupt systems and practices. Instead of demanding and pleading with families and countries to hand over their children, we and you should demand that DOJ, governments, and law enforcement do their jobs in STOPPING the corruption that separates children from families.

    It took more than 10 years for the Makeni families to be heard. Nothing in the Hague addresses protecting these sorts of families, their children, or accountability when crimes are committed. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child would at least address protecting families and their children, and thus the UN CRC is a better treaty than the Hague.

  4. Avatar Jane says:

    So basically another system barrier to adoption enacted by the US Department of State.

    I don’t see this new law helping children, childless couples or anyone. The Hague International Adoption Treaty has done little to clean up corruption and appears to only closes down countries to childless couples. Since we see daily newspaper reports on US Domestic Adoption corruption, I wonder why other countries would continue to work with the US.

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