International child abduction, intercountry adoption and international commercial surrogacy

Authored by: Mark Henaghan , Ruth Ballantyne

Routledge Handbook of Family Law and Policy

Print publication date:  May  2014
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415640404
eBook ISBN: 9780203796221
Adobe ISBN: 9781134447534


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The significance and complexities of both international child abduction and intercountry adoption led to the creation of two Hague Conventions. This chapter analyses the policy challenges facing the international aspects of the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Abduction Convention) and the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Adoption Convention). Policy challenges for the Abduction Convention include the changing profile of the ‘abducting parent’; domestic violence and the ‘grave risk’ exception; the ‘child objection’ exception; international interpretation inconsistencies; and the problem of non-signatory countries. Policy challenges faced by the Adoption Convention include the socio-economic realities of intercountry adoption and the resulting power imbalances; cultural and political differences; the difficulties of deciding what is in the best interests of children; problems of interpretation, implementation and enforcement; and the growing preference for international commercial surrogacy as a replacement for intercountry adoption.

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