University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Whose Rights? Re-visiting Inter-country Adoptions Dilemmas from a Children’s Rights Perspective

Misca, Gabriela ORCID: (2009) Whose Rights? Re-visiting Inter-country Adoptions Dilemmas from a Children’s Rights Perspective. In: 5th World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights: Children Caught in Conflict, 23rd - 26th August 2009, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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Using as example the inter-country adoptions from Romania during 1990s, this paper aims to revisit some of the dilemmas in inter-country adoption, reflecting on the positive opportunities that inter-country adoption offers to children and those opportunities ‘denied’.

Recent studies of inter-country adoption show its significant growth over the past decades and its changing nature over time, the humanitarian motivation gradually being taken over by the demand from childless couples from industrialised countries. In this process, the child’s interests could easily become disregarded. In this context, from the early 1990s onwards, inter-country adoption became the subject of international regulation, reflected mainly in the work of the 1993 Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption.

During early 1990s, Romania accounted for over a third of the total annual figure for inter-country adoptions throughout the world. The exodus of children from Romania was triggered by media images of extremely poor childcare institutions after the fall of the communist regime in 1989. Numerous Western European and North American childless couples, faced with a short supply of adoptable (white) children, seized the opportunity to adopt a Romanian child. There was also significant international pressure on the Romanian Government to open up to international adoption.

Researchers and practitioners in the area of child development seized the opportunity to study the ‘natural experiment’ created by the adoption of Romanian children into foreign families worldwide. Studies conducted in the main receiving countries (UK, USA, Canada) brought new insights regarding the development of children adopted internationally. The conclusions reported to date from such longitudinal studies point towards a remarkable resilience in development, undoubtedly facilitated by the opportunities (economic well-being) inter-country adoption offered to these children, although with certain caveats. However, it is yet to be ascertained the impact of inter-country adoption on their identity formation, as some of these children are now approaching adolescence/adulthood.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: inter-country adoption, law, Romania, children's rights, international adoption
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Gabriela Misca
Date Deposited: 16 May 2016 09:16
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:10

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