Statutes of the NORDIC ADOPTION COUNCIL (NAC)


1. Purpose

1.1 Nordic co-operation presupposes that adoption is regarded as a natural way of forming a family and that children who need a new family are adopted within or outside their native country.
1.2 The NAC is an association of adoption organisations in the Nordic countries. The purpose of the NAC is to achieve, through co-operation between the member organisations, good conditions in the Nordic countries for intercountry adoptions and good conditions in which adopted children can grow up.
1.3 Activities are based on the fundamental principles expressed in the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

2. Activities

2.1 Good, trusting relations between member organisations is a prerequisite for Nordic co-operation.
2.2 The purpose of Nordic co-operation is supported by the active exchange of experience and the provision of ongoing information between the member organisations on activities within the organisations.
2.3 The purpose is realised by attempting to establish common standards in areas where this is appropriate. This includes, among other things, common ethical rules.
2.4 The purpose is also realised by means of a dialogue with society on the conditions and implications of intercountry adoptions and on the experience gained. A co-ordinated approach on the part of the organisations enhances the potential for the positive development of the adoption process.
2.5 The purpose is further realised by influencing public opinion and explaining to and informing society about intercountry adoptions and their implications. This includes working to ensure good conditions in society for adopted children to grow up in and promoting a society in which everyone is of equal value regardless of their origin.
2.6 The purpose is also realised by stimulating research in the field of adoption and by disseminating information on current research findings.
2.7 The purpose is supported by joint Nordic activities in areas that are of importance in the long term to the positive development of intercountry adoptions. Such activities may involve training in various forms, such as parental training, the training of officials and seminars.
2.8 If instructed by the member organisations, the NAC can represent the organisations at international conferences, seminars and other events. The services of the NAC can also be engaged for various international activities, such as matters relating to aid and training issues.
2.9 Within the framework of available resources, the NAC also discharges the duties referred by the member organisations to Nordic co-operation.

3. Members

3.1 Adoption organisations in the Nordic countries may become members. The Nordic countries are Denmark, including the Faeroe Islands and Greenland, Finland, including Åland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
3.2 The term "adoption organisation" means an organisation that arranges intercountry adoptions, organisations for adoptive parents or organisations for persons who have been adopted.
3.3 Organisations that arrange intercountry adoptions shall have a permit to do so, or the equivalent, from the competent authority in each country.
3.4 Member organisations shall, through a valid decision, have subscribed to the joint rules laid down at a Nordic Meeting or a Chairpersons Conference.
3.5 Member organisations undertake to pay the membership fee determined at a Nordic Meeting or a Chairpersons Conference.
3.6 New members are accepted on the recommendation of the member organisations of the country in question at a Nordic Meeting or a Chairpersons Conference.
3.7 If a member ceases its activities as an adoption organisation, if it acts contrary to the ethical rules, the statutes or any resolution of the NAC, or if it acts contrary to the Convention on the Rights of the Child or the Hague Convention, or if it does not pay its membership fee, the member can be expelled from the NAC. Expulsion can only be decided by the Nordic Meeting in accordance with the procedures outlined in Article 5 of these statutes, and only provided that the proposed expulsion is on the agenda for that Nordic Meeting. A simple majority is required for expulsion.

4. Organisation

4.1 The decision-making bodies of the NAC are the Nordic Meeting, the Chairpersons Conference and the Board of the NAC.

5. Nordic Meeting

5.1 The Nordic Meeting is held at least every second year. The Nordic Meeting consists of an open day with seminars on a subject related to the activities of the NAC, and an internal day for deliberations.
5.2 The member organisations are represented at the Nordic Meeting by the Chairperson and/or Director (or equivalent) of the organisation and/or one person authorised by the organisation.
5.3 The following matters shall always be dealt with at the Nordic Meeting:
1. Attendance
2. Election of officials for the meeting (Chairperson, Secretary, two persons to verify the minutes).
3. Discussion of the Board's report on the activities of the preceding years.
4. Financial report, auditor's report.
5. Activity plan for the forthcoming period.
6. Presentation of the Board members appointed by the member organisations.
7. Election of a Chairperson and any other Board members.
8. Fees for the forthcoming period.
9. Election Committee.
5.4 In addition, matters which the Board of the NAC or a member organisation wishes to discuss at the meeting may be put forward for consideration.
5.5 Notice to attend the Nordic Meeting is sent by the Chairperson of the
NAC at least two months in advance.

5.6 Documents and proposals for decisions at the Nordic Meeting shall be sent to the member organisations well in advance to allow the organisations a reasonable period of time for internal deliberations. This may be regulated by special rules of procedure for the NAC.

5.7 The Nordic Meeting is competent to make decisions when more than half of the member organisations are present.
5.8 When voting, each member organisation has one vote. Except for elections, voting is effected by a show of hands.

6. Chairmen's Conference

6.1 The Chairpersons Conference is held in those years when no Nordic Meeting is arranged, at a time determined by the Board of the NAC in consultation with the member organisations.
6.2 The member organisations are represented at the Chairpersons Conference by the Chairperson and Director (or equivalent) of the organisation or two people authorised by the organisation.

6.3 Notice to attend the Chairpersons Conference is sent by the Chairperson of the NAC at least two months in advance.
6.4 What is stipulated above under items 5.4 and 5.6 - 5.8 respectively applies with regard to matters to be discussed at the Chairpersons Conference and rules for decisions.

7. The Board

7.1 The Board is responsible for the management of Nordic co-operation and is the decision-making body with regard to co-operation between the Nordic Meeting and the Chairpersons Conference.
7.2 The Board comprises the Chairperson and four to seven members.
7.3 The term of office of the Board is two years.
7.4 There should be a representative on the Board from each country that has a member organisation. The member organisations in each country are responsible for the appointment of Board members.
7.5 The Chairperson of the Board, and possibly one member in addition to those appointed by the member organisations, are elected by the Nordic Meeting.
7.6 The Board appoints a deputy Chairperson from among its number.
7.7 The Board shall meet at least twice each calendar year.
7.8 The Board is competent to make decisions when the Chairperson/Deputy Chairperson and at least half the Board members are present.
7.9 Minutes of the Board meetings shall be kept.

8. Joint Councils/Information

8.1 The member organisations in each country have undertaken to form a joint council for the organisations in the country. It is the duty of the NAC Board member to inform this joint council of the work of the NAC and to convey information to the NAC from the joint council in question.
8.2 It is also the duty of the NAC Board member to inform and consult regularly with the Boards of the member organisation in his own country.

9. Fees, Finance and Administration

9.1 The operating year and accounting period of the NAC is the calendar year.
9.2 The Nordic Meeting/Chairmen's Conference determines the membership fee. The fee shall cover the cost of the NAC's activities.
9.3 One member organisation is assumed to be responsible for the administration and financial accounting of the NAC. An agreement on this shall be reached between the NAC Board and the member organisation in question and shall regulate the nature and extent of the duties as well as the level of remuneration.

10. Election Committee and Audit

10.1 An Election Committee is appointed at the Nordic Meeting/ Chair¬men's Conference to prepare for the election of the Chairperson and any additional members of the NAC Board.
10.2 An audit is carried out by the auditor of the organisation responsible for the financial accounting, unless decided otherwise by the Nordic Meeting.

11. Amendment of the Statutes

11.1 Amendments to these statutes may be made through a decision of the Nordic Meeting. A simple majority is required for an amendment.

September 2001

Paragraphs 5.1 and 5.2 were changed at the Nordic Meeting in Tórshavn in September 2013