Publication Announcement – November 2023

Last Updated: Saturday, 16 December 2023 Published: Saturday, 16 December 2023

A History of EurAdopt : 30 years of intercountry adoption in the best interests of children


EURADOPT, a membership organisation of adoption accredited bodies, has celebrated its 30th

Anniversary in 2023. To mark this milestone EurAdopt is publishing a history of its formation and

how, over the past three decades, it has fulfilled its mission: in essence to ensure that intercountry

adoptions are conducted to the highest ethical standards, with respect to the rights of all parties and


with the child’s best interests as the paramount consideration.


“A History of EurAdopt: 30 years of intercountry adoption in the child’s best interests” , written by

Gill Haworth OBE and Peter Selman Ph.D., draws on the recollections and records of former Chairs

of EurAdopt, meeting records, position papers, archive materials, articles and other papers in print.

EurAdopt was born out of European adoption agencies’ profound concern over the intercountry

adoption practices globally in the mid- 20th century. Then, intercountry adoption was largely

unregulated and there was inconsistency of States laws, procedures and professional fees, all of

which risked commoditising the children concerned. Initially, EurAdopt was a collaborative network

which became a formal non-governmental organisation in March 1993, when twenty agencies from

nine countries endorsed a set of ethical principles which underpinned their collective practice and

which they would endorse to the wider intercountry adoption community. EurAdopt had influence in

the sessions which has shaped The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in


Respect of Intercountry Adoption 1993, and after its implementation.


Through its member agencies, some of whom have mediated intercountry adoptions for over 50

years, EurAdopt has a longer view of intercountry adoption as a child protective measure for some of

the world’s most vulnerable children. EurAdopt member agencies have, together, mediated over

72,000 intercountry adoptions since its formation and have continued to support those children and

their families thereafter.

Gill Haworth points out that “this publication captures EurAdopt’s path to an unparalleled expertise

in providing adoption mediation and specialist adoption support services developed and delivered by

those with lived experience and places it in historical context.”


In the opinion of one adoption professional with lived experience of intercountry adoption, “Children

adopted from overseas are some of the world’s most disadvantaged and at risk children. EurAdopt’s

focus on ethical placements has been at the forefront of protecting these children. Equally advocating

now for the children as they grow and their adoptive families, the focus on post adoption is

enhancing service provision across Europe.”

The number of intercountry adoptions has declined significantly .since the mid-2000s but Haworth

argues that “ EurAdopt members’ adoption expertise is as relevant as ever with the balance of

agencies’ services moving away from adoption mediation towards post adoption support services

for those affected by intercountry adoption.”

Notes: Gill Haworth OBE is Chair of EurAdopt and founder of Coram IAC, UK

Peter Selman Ph.D. is Visiting Fellow, University of Newcastle, UK


Contact: Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information or to request a soft copy of:

“A History of EurAdopt : 30 years of intercountry adoption in the best interests of children


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