ACT’s Vision — To end intercountry adoptions and help the victims
ACT’s initial vision was to end intercountry adoption within 5 years. We failed: this business is still going and there are desperate attempts within the European Union, the USA, and in countries like India, to keep it going.
However, we take pride in the fact that our work has contributed to a massive 75% decline in inter-country adoption. Our case-work has informed policy makers and journalists and the result has been country after country has closed down.
There is still work to be done.
We also aim to get justice for the victims of inter-country adoption — families whose children were taken away, and adoptees searching for their parents.
We knew that we would never achieve anything by only sitting in our basement office in Brussels, by schmoozing donors, writing reports and attending conferences.
In order to achieve our vision – to take down this industry and help the victims – we decided to also work in the field: to assist victims, expose cases, and note down the details of each individual story. These stories have been the basis of our success.
We also work at the EU and global level. Our message is clear: the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child must be defended; we will expose the ongoing attempts by the intercountry adoption lobby to subvert it with The Hague Adoption Convention, that provides a legal basis for this unethical industry.
The paradox of ACT’s work is that defending the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is inseparable from the EU treaties, is exactly what the European Commission should be doing. Guarding these treaties is their raison d’etre. The Commission learned valuable lessons in Romania (where the inter-country adoption was faced down, adoptions were halted, a successful reform process was funded and the perverse effect of the Hague Adoption Convention were first observed).
Unfortunately the European Commission ignored the lessons of Romania, allowed the intercountry adoption lobby to infiltrate the Brussels’ institutions and pressurised countries like Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia to enact the Hague Adoption Convention.
When we started ACT we believed that we would get EU funding to ensure that the market in children will be acknowledged for what it is – transnational crime – but this was perhaps naive. We didn’t know how embedded the intercountry adoption lobby was in the European institutions and how determined they were to keep us out.
But we have made spectacular progress without any grant funding at all; not only have we helped bring the intercountry adoption lobby to its knees, but the government of the Netherlands has been advised by its top legal advisors to close down inter-country adoption completely [LINK TO REPORT]. This is a direct result of a paper by the founder of ACT, Roelie Post; The Perverse Effect of the Hague Convention [LINK]. The trafficking and other scandals cited in the report are mainly cases ACT worked on.
When intercountry adoption is closed down in the Netherlands, support for the Hague Adoption Convention will become unsustainable. This will enable the world to support children locally, as agreed by the 193 countries which ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
ACT will not rest until the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child will be respected and the victims of the intercountry adoption market will see justice.