Adopted Children: Right to family contact

Google Translation (Part of Text)  – Full Text HERE

Ministry of Social Affairs has seen the report that finds that biological parents and children, as a starting point, cannot be separated by adoption.

Politiken, 9 May 2013
Dorrit Saietz

A month ago,  four Ethiopian mothers met up at the Danish Embassy in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to complain about the way they had been enticed to be adopting their children to Denmark.

Now a new opinion of the Appeals Board Family Law Department under the Ministry of Social Affairs, finds that these mothers have the right to seek contact with their children in Denmark and that the authorities should treat with applications from children, even if the adoptive parents are opposed. ‘The right of an adopted child and its original parents to maintain family life, which was established before adoption, in the form of contact with each other is generally protected under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, concludes the Appeals Board, among other things.


It was an activist organization by the name Against Child Trafficking, which helped the Ethiopian women to visit the embassy and which has, inter alia helped
Indian parents to search for their adopted children.

Open doors for adoption

In practice it is far from certain that parents in distant countries will use this power and have the ability to search and resume contact with their children.
Lene Myong indicates that especially parents, who are poor and illiterate, are dependent of the Danish authorities on implementing their rights.
“If they do not get support, the court quickly may be empty. On the other hand, we will definitely see more activism in relative to these issues. it takes place already in many places, for example in Ethiopia and South Korea, and I have only reason to believe that it will grow, “said the woman.

To Arun Dohle from ACT it is a starting point, it is excellent that Denmark now recognizes the right to family life of the European Convention on Human Rights also for adoptees.
“But what does it mean? Can the children’s parents now immigrate to Denmark? If they have a right to family reunification in line with other people, so can they live their life in Denmark, “he asks.

Also Lene Myong from Aarhus University warns against unintended effects of a greater openness, when biological families can maintain contact with their
children. This makes it as yet more attractive for poor families to send their children on what they perceive as a temporary placement in a rich country.
‘Of course, this option can be misused to get more children, ” she says, referring to revelations about ‘child harvesters’ who persuaded Ethiopian parents
to give their children. “It is also why there is a need for a fundamental discussion about for what adoption is used ‘.