THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
Today I have signed into law H.R. 2909, the "Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000." This Act will implement the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. I am pleased that the Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification of the Convention on September 20, 2000.
The United States and 65 other countries came together to negotiate the Convention in response to abuses in the intercountry adoption process, including illegal child trafficking. By setting uniform standards, the Convention better protects the rights and interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents involved in intercountry adoption.
In its preamble, the Convention recognizes that children should grow up in a family environment and that properly safeguarded intercountry adoption offers the advantage of a permanent family to children who cannot readily be placed with a suitable family in their country of origin. The United States actively participated in the preparation and negotiation of this Convention, with the guidance and participation of representatives of U.S. adoption and family law interests. Since the United States signed the Convention in 1994, several ratifying countries have expressed the view that they would prefer that their children emigrate only to countries that have agreed to comply with the Hague Convention's safeguards and procedures. As a result, the U.S. adoption community has supported U.S. implementing legislation. This bill will ensure the full and uniform implementation of the Convention throughout the United States.
Adoption is an emotional event. With the complexities of international law and procedures, these cases are often overwhelming for the families involved. The Hague Convention and the implementing legislation will provide protections for children and parents engaged in intercountry adoption and will help ensure a standard of service that all families deserve.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON THE WHITE HOUSE, October 6, 2000. # # #