Government launches inspection mission on illegal practices in international adoption (8 Nov. 2022)

Published: Tue Nov 08 2022

International adoption developed significantly in the 1950s, culminating in 2005 with the arrival of more than 4,000 children from abroad on our territory. Since then, there has been a significant fall in the number of adoptions, from 4,136 in 2005 to 421 in 2019.

This reduction is mainly the result of policy changes by adopted children's countries of origin, but also the implementation of the 1993 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption; the creation of the French Adoption Agency (AFA) in 2005 also further improved fraud prevention.

Despite these significant results, several charities representing children adopted prior to the Convention's implementation and the actions initiated by the French Adoption Agency have emphasized that adoptions organized in the past may have been irregular or even illegal. They would like the authorities, as far as possible, to document these irregularities and ensure that the structures currently supporting the adoption of foreign children in France put in place effective fraud-prevention mechanisms.

During the parliamentary debates on the Act of 7 February 2022, the Government pledged to shed light on the incidence of illegal adoptions, which has grown internationally since the 1980s.

It is against this background that Mme Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, M. Eric Dupond-Moretti, Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice, and Mme Charlotte Caubel, Minister of State for Children, attached to the Prime Minister, decided to refer the matter to the General Inspectorate of Foreign Affairs, the General Inspectorate of Justice and the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs in order, firstly, to identify illegal practices which have taken place in the past in order to prevent them from happening again and, secondly, to respond to what adoptees and civil society are asking for. The outcome of this work is expected in six months.

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