seven - Intercountry adoption in Europe 1998–2007: patterns, trends and issues
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 July 2022
Critics have raised many doubts about the movement of children for intercountry adoption, asking whether it is a ‘global trade or global gift?’ (Triseliotis, 2000), ‘a global problem or a global solution?’ (Masson, 2001). In this chapter I want to explore this question in Europe, which shares with America the pattern of being a continent with major movements of children between countries – in America from South to North; in Europe from East to West. However, Europe is of particular interest in the context of the enlarged European Union (EU), which contains both receiving states and states of origin. I shall look in particular at the pressures on Romania and Bulgaria to reduce the number of children sent for intercountry adoption in the years preceding their accession in January 2007, which resulted in the ending of international adoptions by non-relatives from Romania in 2005 and a major reduction in the number of adoptions of children from Bulgaria.
One aim of this chapter is to provide the first detailed analysis of the movement of children for intercountry adoption between European countries in the context of the total movement of at least 45,000 children in 2004. The chapter starts with a statement of the countries defined as ‘European’ and clarification of the identification of these as primarily receiving states or states of origin. There will be a brief consideration of the history of intercountry adoption (ICA) in Europe since the Second World War, a more detailed account of which can be found in a paper presented at the 1996 Social Policy Association conference (Selman 1998), but the chapter will concentrate on the pattern of movement in the first seven years of the 20th century. Data presented in the tables and figures are based on statistics from central authorities of 23 receiving states. Estimates for states of origin are based on information about country of origin in the returns from the 23 receiving states listed in Table 7A in the Appendix as having reliable data (see also Selman, 2002, 2006).
Countries studied and classification as sending or receiving states
This study is concerned with the movement of children for intercountry adoption to and from European countries. The countries chosen were the member states of the Council of Europe in 2007, with the addition of Belarus as a candidate for membership. This made a total of 48 states for which data were sought.
- Social Policy Review 21Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2009, pp. 133 - 166Publisher: Bristol University PressPrint publication year: 2009