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Picking up or bringing a child from the other side of the world to make him or her one’s own has often been considered an act of unconditional love. Since the middle of the 20th century idealised, international adoption has developed crescendo (massively?)without a real consideration of the child’s interest. Thousands of children adopted internationally may have been abused ( do you means physically assaulted? Do you refer to a general lack of consideration?) when permanently separated from their birth families and cultures.


The best interests of the child

Today in 2021 some adoption actors minimize the importance of fraudulent practices arguing that they took place a long time ago. The fact remains that it has long been known that abuses have tainted international adoption in many countries: Chad, Haiti, Chile, Sri Lanka, Mali, Ethiopia, Guatemala, etc. (I think you need to cite evidence here or at the end of the article)The International Convention on the Rights of the Child (ICRC) has enshrined since 1989 the principle of the best interests of the child, this means. taking into account the fundamental physical, intellectual, social and emotional needs of the child, as well as the respect of his/her rights regarding all the decisions affecting him/her (art. 3). The CRC also specifies the right of the child to know and grow up in his/her family of origin and the obligation of States to support the family of origin in bringing up the child in dignity. (art. 7). It defends the right of the child to « preserve his/her identity and family relations » (art.? )and stipulates « that no child shall be separated from his/her parents against their will » (art. 9). However, even though the 1993 Hague Convention on the protection of children and cooperation in terms of inter-country adoption were ratified by France in 1998, international adoptions in France continued to increase until 2004. Without the enforcement of necessary controls that could have prevented abuses that occurred, such as lack of consent of the parents, falsification of documents , pressure on biological families, forced disappearances still happened.

Subsidiarity and adoptability

In addition to the best interests of the child, the notion of subsidiarity is another pillar of the Hague Convention of 1993. Indeed, it is in the best interests of the child to grow up and be raised in his/her family and cultural environment of origin. When no solution can be considered within the extended family, then the child may be entrusted to an institution for placement in a foster family, or even adoption. Before making a final decision, the authorities must check the different levels of subsidiarity (parents, extended family, country, cultural community). A meticulous examination of other protection options must also be carried out to assess whether a child meets the conditions for adoption (a genuinely orphaned child, act of abandonment, informed consent of parents, etc.), defining what are called the criteria of adoptability. Many illegal adoptions have been authorized in disregard of the fundamental principles of subsidiarity, of the best interests of the child and the criteria of adoptability. According to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the sale of children « These principles are violated when the purpose of an adoption is to find a child for the adoptive parents rather than a family for the child.

Our demands 

In disregard of the principles set out above, France is still struggling to implement the recommendations of the Hague Convention, despite having ratified it over 20 years ago. 

We therefore ask that France honours its commitments and therefore :

  •  Strictly apply the principle of subsidiarity and rigorously evaluate the adoptability of children in their country of birth
  • To enshrine the right to re-establish one’s birth identity, for those who wish to do so (art. 8 CIDE) and the right of access to information on origins, identity and medical history (art. 30 Hague Convention of 1993) via an effective central structure. 

In addition to these commitments enshrined in international conventions, we ask that France establish a protocol for assistance in the search for origins (RDO) free of charge, per country and without time limit. This support by intercountry adoption specialists would include legal, diplomatic, administrative, financial and psychological support. A state framework is necessary to avoid the privatisation and monetisation of a market́ linked to RDO, the very onè that often reveals illicit practices. The State must thus secure access to DNA tests and cooperate with countries of origin, in order to prevent any commercial activity that might result from it. The financial transactions that are inseparable from illegal adoptions cannot continue in the RDO of the adopted persons. 

Finally, we ask that an independent enquiry into international adoptions carried out from 1960 to the present day be carried out, in order to recognise illegal adoptions, to shed light on illicit practices and to ensure that they are stopped. 

France must respect the rights of the adopted persons, recognise the prejudices of the victims, condemn those responsible and prevent future abuses. Today, in the name of present and future generations, in the name of birth parents and adoptive parents, it is imperative to put rights and ethics back at the centre of the international adoption system so that abuses and denials finally cease.

Authors :

Emmanuelle Hebert (administratrice RAÏF) ; Erick-Alexander Mijangos (administrateur RAÏF) ; Joohee Bourgain (enseignante et autrice, membre d’honneur RAÏF).

The signatories

Marie Bardet, journaliste et autrice ; Pascale Boyer, députée LREM - Hautes-Alpes ; Carmen Maria Vega, artiste pluridisciplinaire ; Annie Chapellier, députée Agir Ensemble - Gard ; Jennifer de Temmerman, députée Libertés et Territoires - Nord ; Agnès Firmin Le Bodo, députée Agir Ensemble - Seine Maritime ; Amandine Gay, réalisatrice et autrice ; Tobias Hübinette, professeur associé à la Karlstad University, Suède ; Xavier Iacovelli, Sénateur LREM - Hauts-de-Seine ; Hubert Julien-Laferrière, député EELV - Rhône ; Johanna Lamboley, chef d’entreprise, représentante Chilean Adoptees Worldwide France ; Lynelle Long, fondatrice et directrice générale d’Intercountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV) ; Bénédicte Petelle, députée LREM - Hauts de Seine ; Maud Petit, députée MoDem - Val-de-Marne ; Michèle Peyron, députée LREM - Seine-et-Marne ; Françoise Potier, présidente de l’association Adopt’Ecoute ; Mireille Robert, députée LREM - Aude ; Mariela Sr - Coline Fanon, Fondatrice de Racines Perdues - Raíces Perdidas ; Souad Zitouni, députée LREM – Vaucluse ; Michel Zumkeller, député UDI - Territoire de Belfort

Géraldine Bannier, députée Mouvement démocrate - Mayenne ; Pierre Cabaré, député LREM - Haute-Garonne ; Philippe Chalumeau, député LREM - Indre-et-Loire ; Jacqueline Maquet, députée LREM - Pas-de-Calais ; Sereine Mauborgne, députée LREM - Var ; Alain Péréa, député LREM - Aude ; Laurianne Rossi, députée LREM - des Hauts de Seine ; David Hebert ; Louise Heem, interprète, actrice et réalisatrice ; Marie M, fondatrice du collectif des personnes adoptées du Mali ; Shumona Sinha, écrivain ; David Hebert ; Marie-Claude Gay, retraitée et mère adoptante ; Joelle Pijaudier-Cabot, mère célibataire adoptante ; Céline Clavier, citoyenne ; Maya Coppi, artisane ; Awa Sissokho, journaliste ; Clémence Rigaldo, Chirurgien - dentiste ; David Hebert, citoyen ; Marie-Emmanuelle Mokwapi, traductrice ; Sylvie Reboux, formatrice ;  Pascal Hebert, citoyen ; André Roy, praticien et conférencier en matière de soins des TSPT ; David Hebert, citoyen ; Julie Perier, citoyenne ; Pauline Mazue, spécialiste plaidoyer ; Juliette Cantau, citoyenne ; Caroline Hawkins, citoyenne ; Christla Petitberghien, étudiante à sciences Po Paris ; Solenne Chassagne, Libraire ;  Pierre Hebert, citoyen ;  Emmanuel Vincent, employé Emmaus ; Jean-Noël Piaser, père adoptif du collectif des parents adoptifs du Sri Lanka ; Véronique Piaser-Moyen, mère adoptive du collectif des parents adoptifs du Sri Lanka ; Jérome Suider, salarié ; Sandrine Dekens, psychologue ; Stéphane Pinscloux, saltimbanque ; Sophie Mazue, médecin ; Anne Hebert, citoyenne ; Cédrik Pelherbe, citoyen ; Natacha Hirth, citoyenne ; Aurélien Boué, CAW France - adopté chilien ; Solene Patten, agent adminitratif ; Barbara Romero, journaliste ; Geraldine Clément, chargée de communication ; Rency Germain, adoptée ; Marie-Ange Baudin, professeur de français ; Angélique Lachat, professeur ; Eugénie Be, auteure ; Annick Boosten, citoyenne ; Yasmina Tobbeche, travailleur jeunesse et éducation ; Pierre-André Galy, chef d'entreprise ; Bouchra Chibana, citoyenne ; Cecile Chaffard, costumière ; Yasmine Silem, résponsable opérations spéciales ; Frédérique Santerre, Docteur ; Louise Morlat-Basle, jeune diplômé ; Carole Naudon, éducatrice spécialisée ; Alexis Krikorian, ONG ; Nicolas Nieto, citoyen & membre de l'AJL ; Virginie Vargas, citoyenne ; Séverine Meyer, enseignante ; Ella Etienne, chargée de communication ; Caroline Clamens, salariée ;

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