CouncilEurope

European Convention on the Adoption of Children

(ETS no. 058)

Open for signature by the member States of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, on 24 April 1967.

Entry into force: 26 April 1968.

Summary of the treaty

The Convention ensures that national law on the protection of children applies not only to adoptions of children from the Parties but also to those of children from other States.

The Convention contains a core of essential provisions on adoption practice which each Party undertakes to incorporate in its legislation, and a list of supplementary provisions to which Parties are free to give effect. Thus, under the Convention's essential provisions, adoption must be granted by a judicial or administrative authority, the decision to authorise the adoption of a child must be freely accepted by the parents and the adoption must be in the interest of the child.

Furthermore, after adoption:

– the adopter has, in respect of the adopted person, the rights and obligations of every kind that a father or mother has in respect of a child born in lawful wedlock;

– as a general rule, the child shall be able to acquire the surname of the adopter;

– in matters of succession, an adopted child is treated as if he\she were a child of the adopter born in lawful wedlock;

– acquisition by the child of the nationality of the adoptive parents is facilitated.

The supplementary provisions relate, inter alia, to measures which may be taken, to include the social and legal aspects of adoption in the curriculum for the training of social workers, to enable adoption to take place without the identity of the adopter being disclosed to the child's family, and to enable adoption proceedings to take place in camera.