International or overseas Adoption is not always the seemingly glamorous high profile event that we might associate with Madonna or Brangelina. Very often the desire to adopt from abroad comes from members of the child’s extended family living in the UK.
With so much poverty and disease in the world and high rates of mortality in the younger age group in many countries, the desire to help children of the family who have been bereaved or abandoned can be high. However the very legislation that tries to tackle the horror of child trafficking works against families with a genuine desire to help their own kith and kin.
Unless an Adoption is being dealt with under the Hague Convention, it is an offence to bring a child into the country for the purpose of Adoption. It is an offence to bring a child into the country if there has been an adoption granted in another country within the previous year.
The legislation anticipates that regulations may provide for these restrictions not to apply if the prospective adopters are natural parents, natural relatives or guardians of the child. However no such regulations have yet been made.
Convention Adoptions can be costly and time-consuming and very often in compassionate cases time is of the essence. Vulnerable children who can be helped by members of their extended family are being prejudiced by the legislation in its current form.