Building a Europe for and with children


The European Convention on the Adoption of Children (Revised) (CETS No. 202) was opened for signature on 27 November 2008 and was signed by Denmark, Finland, Romania, Spain and Ukraine.

The aim is to take account of social and legal developments while keeping to the European Convention on Human Rights and bearing in mind that the child’s best interests must always take precedence over any other considerations.

New provisions introduced by the convention:

The father’s consent is required in all cases, even when the child was born out of wedlock.
The child’s consent is necessary if the child has sufficient understanding to give it.
It extends to heterosexual unmarried couples who have entered into a registered partnership in states which recognise that institution. It also leaves states free to extend adoptions to homosexual couples and same sex-couples living together in a stable relationship.
The new convention strikes a better balance between adopted children’s right to know their identity and the right of the biological parents to remain anonymous.
The minimum age of the adopter must be between 18 and 30, and the age difference between adopter and child should preferably be at least 16 years.

See Convention

The Convention in a nutshell