SCOPE OF THE CONVENTION Article 1 The objects of the present Convention are - a to establish safeguards to ensure that intercountry adoptions take place in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights as recognized in international law; b to establish a system of co-operation amongst Contracting States to ensure that those safeguards are respected and thereby prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children; c to secure the recognition in Contracting States of adoptions made in accordance with the Convention.
Article 2 1 The Convention shall apply where a child habitually resident in one Contracting State "the State of origin" has been, is being, or is to be moved to another Contracting State "the receiving State" either after his or her adoption in the State of origin by spouses or a person habitually resident in the receiving State, or for the purposes of such an adoption in the receiving State or in the State of origin.
Article 3 The Convention ceases to apply if the agreements mentioned in Article 17, sub-paragraph c , have not been given before the child attains the age of eighteen years.
Article 5 An adoption within the scope of the Convention shall take place only if the competent authorities of the receiving State - a have determined that the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suited to adopt; b have ensured that the prospective adoptive parents have been counselled as may be necessary; and c have determined that the child is or will be authorized to enter and reside permanently in that State. Where a State has appointed more than one Central Authority, it shall designate the Central Authority to which any communication may be addressed for transmission to the appropriate Central Authority within that State.
Article 7 1 Central Authorities shall co-operate with each other and promote co-operation amongst the competent authorities in their States to protect children and to achieve the other objects of the Convention. Article 8 Central Authorities shall take, directly or through public authorities, all appropriate measures to prevent improper financial or other gain in connection with an adoption and to deter all practices contrary to the objects of the Convention.
Article 9 Central Authorities shall take, directly or through public authorities or other bodies duly accredited in their State, all appropriate measures, in particular to - a collect, preserve and exchange information about the situation of the child and the prospective adoptive parents, so far as is necessary to complete the adoption; b facilitate, follow and expedite proceedings with a view to obtaining the adoption; c promote the development of adoption counselling and post-adoption services in their States; d provide each other with general evaluation reports about experience with intercountry adoption; e reply, in so far as is permitted by the law of their State, to justified requests from other Central Authorities or public authorities for information about a particular adoption situation.
Article 10 Accreditation shall only be granted to and maintained by bodies demonstrating their competence to carry out properly the tasks with which they may be entrusted. Article 11 An accredited body shall - a pursue only non-profit objectives according to such conditions and within such limits as may be established by the competent authorities of the State of accreditation; b be directed and staffed by persons qualified by their ethical standards and by training or experience to work in the field of intercountry adoption; and c be subject to supervision by competent authorities of that State as to its composition, operation and financial situation.
Article 12 A body accredited in one Contracting State may act in another Contracting State only if the competent authorities of both States have authorized it to do so. Article 13 The designation of the Central Authorities and, where appropriate, the extent of their functions, as well as the names and addresses of the accredited bodies shall be communicated by each Contracting State to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.
Article 15 1 If the Central Authority of the receiving State is satisfied that the applicants are eligible and suited to adopt, it shall prepare a report including information about their identity, eligibility and suitability to adopt, background, family and medical history, social environment, reasons for adoption, ability to undertake an intercountry adoption, as well as the characteristics of the children for whom they would be qualified to care. Article 17 Any decision in the State of origin that a child should be entrusted to prospective adoptive parents may only be made if - a the Central Authority of that State has ensured that the prospective adoptive parents agree; b the Central Authority of the receiving State has approved such decision, where such approval is required by the law of that State or by the Central Authority of the State of origin; c the Central Authorities of both States have agreed that the adoption may proceed; and d it has been determined, in accordance with Article 5, that the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suited to adopt and that the child is or will be authorized to enter and reside permanently in the receiving State.
Article 18 The Central Authorities of both States shall take all necessary steps to obtain permission for the child to leave the State of origin and to enter and reside permanently in the receiving State. Article 19 1 The transfer of the child to the receiving State may only be carried out if the requirements of Article 17 have been satisfied. Article 20 The Central Authorities shall keep each other informed about the adoption process and the measures taken to complete it, as well as about the progress of the placement if a probationary period is required.
Article 22 1 The functions of a Central Authority under this Chapter may be performed by public authorities or by bodies accredited under Chapter III, to the extent permitted by the law of its State. The certificate shall specify when and by whom the agreements under Article 17, sub-paragraph c , were given. It shall also notify the depositary of any modification in the designation of these authorities. Article 24 The recognition of an adoption may be refused in a Contracting State only if the adoption is manifestly contrary to its public policy, taking into account the best interests of the child.
Article 25 Any Contracting State may declare to the depositary of the Convention that it will not be bound under this Convention to recognize adoptions made in accordance with an agreement concluded by application of Article 39, paragraph 2. Article 26 1 The recognition of an adoption includes recognition of a the legal parent-child relationship between the child and his or her adoptive parents; b parental responsibility of the adoptive parents for the child; c the termination of a pre-existing legal relationship between the child and his or her mother and father, if the adoption has this effect in the Contracting State where it was made.
Article 27 1 Where an adoption granted in the State of origin does not have the effect of terminating a pre-existing legal parent-child relationship, it may, in the receiving State which recognizes the adoption under the Convention, be converted into an adoption having such an effect - a if the law of the receiving State so permits; and b if the consents referred to in Article 4, sub-paragraphs c and d , have been or are given for the purpose of such an adoption.
Article 31 Without prejudice to Article 30, personal data gathered or transmitted under the Convention, especially data referred to in Articles 15 and 16, shall be used only for the purposes for which they were gathered or transmitted. Article 32 1 No one shall derive improper financial or other gain from an activity related to an intercountry adoption.
Article 33 A competent authority which finds that any provision of the Convention has not been respected or that there is a serious risk that it may not be respected, shall immediately inform the Central Authority of its State. This Central Authority shall be responsible for ensuring that appropriate measures are taken. Article 34 If the competent authority of the State of destination of a document so requests, a translation certified as being in conformity with the original must be furnished.
Unless otherwise provided, the costs of such translation are to be borne by the prospective adoptive parents. Article 35 The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall act expeditiously in the process of adoption.
Article 36 In relation to a State which has two or more systems of law with regard to adoption applicable in different territorial units - a any reference to habitual residence in that State shall be construed as referring to habitual residence in a territorial unit of that State; b any reference to the law of that State shall be construed as referring to the law in force in the relevant territorial unit; c any reference to the competent authorities or to the public authorities of that State shall be construed as referring to those authorized to act in the relevant territorial unit; d any reference to the accredited bodies of that State shall be construed as referring to bodies accredited in the relevant territorial unit.
Article 37 In relation to a State which with regard to adoption has two or more systems of law applicable to different categories of persons, any reference to the law of that State shall be construed as referring to the legal system specified by the law of that State. Article 38 A State within which different territorial units have their own rules of law in respect of adoption shall not be bound to apply the Convention where a State with a unified system of law would not be bound to do so. Article 39 1 The Convention does not affect any international instrument to which Contracting States are Parties and which contains provisions on matters governed by the Convention, unless a contrary declaration is made by the States Parties to such instrument.
These agreements may derogate only from the provisions of Articles 14 to 16 and 18 to The States which have concluded such an agreement shall transmit a copy to the depositary of the Convention. Article 40 No reservation to the Convention shall be permitted. Article 41 The Convention shall apply in every case where an application pursuant to Article 14 has been received after the Convention has entered into force in the receiving State and the State of origin.
Article 42 The Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law shall at regular intervals convene a Special Commission in order to review the practical operation of the Convention. Article 44 1 Any other State may accede to the Convention after it has entered into force in accordance with Article 46, paragraph 1. Such an objection may also be raised by States at the time when they ratify, accept or approve the Convention after an accession.
Any such objection shall be notified to the depositary. Article 45 1 If a State has two or more territorial units in which different systems of law are applicable in relation to matters dealt with in the Convention, it may at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession declare that this Convention shall extend to all its territorial units or only to one or more of them and may modify this declaration by submitting another declaration at any time.
Article 46 1 The Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of three months after the deposit of the third instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval referred to in Article Article 47 1 A State Party to the Convention may denounce it by a notification in writing addressed to the depositary. Where a longer period for the denunciation to take effect is specified in the notification, the denunciation takes effect upon the expiration of such longer period after the notification is received by the depositary.
Article 48 The depositary shall notify the States Members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the other States which participated in the Seventeenth Session and the States which have acceded in accordance with Article 44, of the following - a the signatures, ratifications, acceptances and approvals referred to in Article 43; b the accessions and objections raised to accessions referred to in Article 44; c the date on which the Convention enters into force in accordance with Article 46; d the declarations and designations referred to in Articles 22, 23, 25 and 45; e the agreements referred to in Article 39; f the denunciations referred to in Article In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto, have signed this Convention.
Done at The Hague, on the 29th day of May , in the English and French languages, both texts being equally authentic, in a single copy which shall be deposited in the archives of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and of which a certified copy shall be sent, through diplomatic channels, to each of the States Members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law at the date of its Seventeenth Session and to each of the other States which participated in that Session.