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Site map: adoption

Our work:

Corruption in international adoptions

  Orphaned or Stolen?
The U.S. State Dept.
  investigates adoption
  from Nepal, 2006-2008

"Anatomy of an Adoption Crisis,", September 12, 2010

"The Baby Business," Democracy Journal, Summer 2010

"The Lie We Love," Foreign Policy magazine, Nov./Dec. 2008




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Research sources:

In related news

Country by country: adoption corruption reports from around the world:

Student Research Assistants' Contributions

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Click to follow link  EMK Press
Click to follow link U.S. Department of State for Prospective Adoptive Parents
Click to follow link The Hague Convention of Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption
Click to follow link Adoption Agency Research Group

Below is a selected list of resources for parents who have adopted, are in the adoption process, or are thinking about adopting.

EMK Press

Resources for adoptive families and the professionals who help them. EMK Press publishes books for adoptees, adoptive families, foster families, and adoption professionals.

U.S. Department of State Guide for Prospective Adoptive Parents

The U.S. DOS has prepared a guide to help prospective adoptive parents gain a basic understanding of the elements of the Hague Convention and the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000, both of which regulate the adoption of children born abroad by U.S. parents.

The guide states:

The Convention provides a framework for Convention countries to work together to ensure that adoptions take place in the best interests of children and to prevent the abduction, sale, or trafficking of children in connection with intercountry adoption…

One of the most significant changes concerns the adoption service provider accreditation process…

Professional Adoption Practices

The accreditation regulations work to ensure that your adoption service provider operates using sound professional practices. Some examples of the professional practices that are required of an adoption service provider include the following standards:  

    • The agency has (or, in the case of an individual, is) a CEO or equivalent official with an appropriate educational and management background and experience in adoption services.
    • The agency has a board of directors or governing body that oversees the agency.
    • The agency operates on a sound financial basis, maintaining on average at least two months cash reserves to meet its operating expenses.
    • The agency maintains directors’ and officers’ insurance, errors and omissions insurance, and professional liability insurance.
    • The agency properly trains their employees on intercountry adoption.

Previously, there were no uniform requirements for agencies or persons that provided intercountry adoption services. Although intercountry adoption will always be a complex process, the safeguards in the IAA and the regulations are meant to ensure that only legitimate and sound agencies are able to provide services in Convention adoptions.

Ethical Adoption Practices

The accreditation regulations also work to ensure that your adoption service provider operates using ethical practices. For example, agencies must have a written policy expressly forbidding the agency, its employees, and agents or facilitators who operate under the supervision of the agency, from giving money to a child’s birth parents (or other individuals) as payment for a child or as an inducement to release a child. An agency does not offer incentive fees for locating children or placing children for adoption. In addition, agencies are required to subject their finances to independent audits to comply with ethical practices…

Download the State Department’s full Guide for Prospective Adoptive Parents (PDF)

The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption

Adoption service providers are accredited, temporarily accredited, or approved by either the Council on Accreditation or the Colorado Department of Human Services. The U.S. State Department monitors the accreditation process, assuring compliance. Only accredited agencies are allowed to provide adoption services for Hague adoption cases. For the U.S. Department of State’s side-by-side comparison of adoptions from countries that have signed the Hague Convention versus those countries that have not. 

Agency Information:

List of accredited agencies 

List of agencies denied accreditation

Country Information:

List of countries that have signed the Hague Convention

Adoption Agency Research Group, a yahoo! group

Formed to help prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) research and select an international adoption agency. Some members have in-depth knowledge about difficulties with a variety of agencies and countries. Adoption professionals may not join.

NOTE: This page from the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism website offers documentation of and background about serious irregularities in international adoption. For the systemic analysis of corruption in international adoption, please read “The Lie We Love,” Foreign Policy magazine, Nov./Dec. 2008, and visit our webpages dedicated to international adoption. For ideas about fairer policy solutions, please read “The Baby Business,” Democracy Journal, Summer 2010.

© 2008-2011 Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, 02454. All rights reserved.

Last page update: February 23, 2011