Excerpt From “RIGHTS OF THE CHILD”
ADVANCE EDITED VERSION
Distr. General 6 January 2003 Original: ENGLISH
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Item 13 of the provisional agenda
Report submitted by M. Juan Miguel Petit, Special Rapporteur, on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 2002/92.
IV. OTHER ISSUES IN FOCUS
110. During the course of 2002, the Special Rapporteur received many complaints relating to allegedly fraudulent adoption practices. Where such practices have the effect that the child becomes the object of a commercial transaction, the Special Rapporteur, like his predecessor, considers that such cases fall within the “sale” element of his mandate. The Special Rapporteur was shocked to learn of the plethora of human rights abuses which appear to permeate the adoption systems of many countries*.
The Special Rapporteur considers that the best environment for most children to grow up in is within a family, and that the adoption by a parent or parents of a child who does not have a family able to look after him or her is a commendable and noble action. Regrettably, in many cases, the emphasis has changed from the desire to provide a needy child with a home, to that of providing a needy parent with a child. As a result, a whole industry has grown, generating millions of dollars of revenues each year, seeking babies for adoption and charging prospective parents enormous fees to process paperwork.
The problems surrounding many intercountry adoptions in which children are taken from poor families in undeveloped countries and given to parents in developed countries, have become quite well known, but the Special Rapporteur was alarmed to hear of certain practices within developed countries, including the use of fraud and coercion to persuade single mothers to give up their children.
111. Given the particular nature of many cases received, the Special Rapporteur brought the information received to the attention of other appropriate United Nations mechanisms and intends to continue to address such abuses when they fall within the parameters of the mandate.