Nordic Adoption Approach

Download the Nordic Adoption Approach document in English:

The Nordic Adoption Approach 20th September 2019

The Nordic Adoption Council (NAC) was formally established in 1995 and is an association of 12 adoption and adoptive families' organisations in the Nordic Countries.
The purpose of NAC is to have a platform for a Nordic collaboration and sharing of experience by ensuring legal certainty, transparency and responsibility for intercountry adoptions and for the adopted children in the Nordic countries.
Furthermore, NAC promotes the principles of the Hague Adoption Convention and the UN Convention of the Child's Rights when it comes to good practices in intercountry adoption both legally, ethically and morally.
The Nordic Adoption Approach (NAA) is NAC's policy paper outlining the content issues that the NAC member organisations are supporting and advocating for jointly though NAC.

NAC member organisations promote / agree to:
1. Act agenda-setting in the Nordic and global context, based on the many years of experience accumulated in the Nordic countries in the field of intercountry adoption. NAC advocates developing the Nordic adoption systems further to secure children's rights in adoptions, professionalism and continuity in intercountry adoption mediation and post-adoption services.
2. Secure the rights of the child by setting intercountry adoption into its right context as a good alternative for children when a permanent family solution cannot be found in the child's country of origin. Finding positive family care solutions to existing children in need of families should receive primary attention. Simultaneously ethical challenges in relation to children's rights in connection to alternative methods of family formation, such as surrogacy, should be addressed and regulated.
3. Promote the areas where the Nordic approach sets higher ethical standards than those established legally and in practice. E.g. providing applications that match the profile of the children in need of adoption and respecting other content requirements set by the sending countries.
4. Collaborate with the Central Authorities and other actors in the countries of origin by supporting activities related to child protection by strengthening structures, promoting awareness and by empowering public institutions.
5. Promote adoption as a good solution for children in need of families, including in the EU context where awareness of adoption as a positive solution is highly underestimated.
6. Promote networking and sharing of knowledge with other stakeholders in intercountry adoption.
7. Promote the idea of having a limited number of highly professionalized NGOs as accredited organisations to act as intermediaries in intercountry adoption globally.
8. Advocate restrictions for receiving countries to prevent them from putting the countries of origin under undue pressure, which might encourage trafficking, e.g. by presenting too many applications in relation to the number of children available for adoption in the countries of origin or by sending applications that do not match the profile of the children in need of family
9. Do advocacy among the Central Authorities of the receiving countries to impose regulations restricting the organizations from presenting one family's application to more than one country of origin simultaneously, unless in special and extreme circumstances.
10. Demand increased responsibility from adoption Central Authorities of receiving states to find solutions for the public financing and further development of pre- and post-adoption services, including post-adoption counseling and securing the child's right to his or her own history.
11. Ensure that research has the proper focus on the rights of the child, that the research concerning adoptees’ development does not merely focus on a comparison between adoptees' development and the development of biological children, but on adoption as an alternative solution to institutionalization or foster care placement of children at risk and on support needs and effective interventions.
12. Promote the standpoints of the Nordic Adoption Approach to intercountry adoption by a joint effort from the Central Authorities, the accredited adoption organisations, the adoptees' organisations and the adoptive family associations in the Nordic Countries.