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The Nordic Adoption Council (NAC) is an association of adoption organisations in the Nordic Countries (see inset), that was formally established in 1995. The purpose of the NAC is to achieve, through co-operation between the member organisations, good conditions in the Nordic countries for intercountry adoption and good conditions in which the adopted children can grow up.

Before NAC was established adoption organisations in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland already had a more than 20-year history of cooperation. An Icelandic organisation joined this cooperation in the early 1990-ies.

Although informal contact between adoption organisations in the Nordic region had existed since the early 1970-ies, the first meeting of a more formal nature between these organizations was a one-day affair held in Oslo in 1977. The first Nordic Meeting over a weekend was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1979, and this meeting was followed by similar weekend meetings every two years; in Vaasa, Finland in 1981, in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1983, in Oslo, Norway in 1985, in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1987, in Helsinki, Finland in 1989, in Stockholm, Sweden in 1991 and in Oslo, Norway in 1993.

During these years there was no formal Nordic adoption organization as such, only a six-member Nordic Adoption Committee that was responsible for the convening of the next Nordic Meeting. Gradually the committee took on other tasks, like the compiling of various documents about topics of common concern.

The notion that the Nordic cooperation should be strengthened and formalized appeared gradually in the early 90-ies. The Nordic Committee was allowed to participate in The Hague expert meetings from 1990 to 1993 about a new intercountry adoption convention, notwithstanding the loose structure at that time. Although it was thus not strictly necessary to formalize the work in order to continue being part of the Hague efforts, there is no doubt that our successful participation in The Hague meetings helped us see the advantages of a somewhat stronger Nordic organization.

The fact that a similar adoption organization on European level, EurAdopt, was founded in 1993 did not lead to a dampening of the Nordic reform spirit. A new model was discussed at a Nordic Committee meeting in Marstrand, Sweden, in 1994. The Committee welcomed the creation of EurAdopt, and pledged that the Nordic organizations would contribute to EurAdopt becoming a success. But there was still a desire for a more formalized Nordic organization - formalized but yet not too ambitious. For instance a suggestion to hire a part time General Secretary was turned down.

As mentioned above, the Nordic Adoption Council was formally established in 1995, at the 10th Nordic Meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark.

According to the NAC statutes all adoption organisations in the Nordic countries may become members of the association. The term "adoption association” is defined as an organization that arranges intercountry adoptions, organisations for adoptive parents and organisations for persons who have been adopted.

The NAC statutes maintain the tradition that Nordic Meetings shall still be arranged every second year in September or October. In the years between smaller "Chairpersons’ Conference” are convened.

Between the Nordic Meetings a Board with a chairperson and 4-7 other members is responsible for the management of the Nordic co-operation and is the Council’s decision.-making body.

Since 1995 Nordic meetings have taken place in Vaasa, Finland in 1997, Reykjavik, Iceland in 1999, in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2001, in Oslo, Norway in 2003, in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2005, in Helsinki, Finland in 2007. Reykjavík, Iceland in 2009 and in Stockholm, Sweden 2011.


The Nordic Countries
The term ”The Nordic countries”, or "the Nordic Region”, refers to five countries in Northern Europe, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and their associated territories which include the Faroe Islands and Greenland (under Denmark) and Åland (under Finland).
These five nation-states and three autonomous regions share much common history as well as common traits in their respective societies, such as a strong emphasis on welfare, human rights and democracy, often referred to as "the Nordic model”. Politically, the Nordic countries do not form a separate entity, but they co-operate in a body called "the Nordic Council”. Denmark, Finland and Sweden are members of the European Union, while Iceland and Norway and the three associated territories are outside, although maintaining a strong economic and cultural cooperation with the 27 countries of the union. While Denmark, Sweden and Norway are monarchies, Finland and Iceland are republics.


Linguistically, the area is dominated by languages belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, spoken by the overwhelming majority of the population in Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands and Åland. Finnish, the majority language in Finland, and languages spoken by the Sami minority in the far north of the region, belong to the Uralic languages. In Greenland the majority speaks a language belonging to the Eskimo-Aleut language group. The Nordic countries have a combined population of approximately 25 million. Sweden accounts for close to 9 million people, while Denmark, Finland and Norway each have populations of around 5-6 million people. The population of Iceland is around 300,000, while the three autonomous regions each have populations of well under 100,000.

The term "Scandinavia” is sometimes used synonymously with the Nordic Countries, but within the region itself the term Scandinavia is usually restricted to mean Sweden, Denmark and Norway.