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November 30 - December 1: Conference “Challenges in Adoption Procedures in Europe: ensuring the best interests of the child”, Strasbourg
The Council of Europe and the European Commission organised jointly a conference on “Challenges in Adoption Procedures in Europe: ensuring the best interests of the child”.
The event was held at the Council of Europe Headquarters, in Strasbourg, from 30 November to 1 December 2009. During this conference Spain and The Netherlands signed the Council of Europe Convention on the adoption of children, which was revised in 2008. New provisions introduced by the convention are:
- 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.