Intercountry adoption, child protection?

During a conference organised by Terre des Hommes International Federation on Children on the Move, Arun Dohle questioned the European Commission on adoptions from Serbia.

The issue remains unsolved.

Brussels, 15 March 2015:  

Arun Dohle, Against Child Trafficking (ACT)

I work for Against Child Trafficking, and we deal mainly with the issue of intercountry adoption and trafficking for children for intercountry adoption.

During the accession process of Romania, the [European] Commission actually forced Romania to stop intercountry adoption and brought Romania in line – at the time with PHARE money – with the acquis on children’s rights. Particularly with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

There was an Independent Panel set up by the European Commission which clearly stated that intercountry adoption is not a child protection measure. Somehow that opinion of the Independent Panel got lost…

And we find now in the Western Balkans, I think in 2015, 15 children for example from Serbia, 3 children from Montenegro, we find them in Sweden adopted through a very large and old adoption agency [Adoptionscentrum] against adoption fees of around 30.000 euros.

I would like to have the comments of Mr. Paquet on that.

Jean-Eric Paquet, Director DG NEAR, Western Balkan, European Commission

On intra-country adoption, I am not aware that this is perceived in legal terms or policy terms as child trafficking…
I am aware of some concerns of adoptions which took place in Serbia and clearly we will be looking into it. That is what I can say.