[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[June 11, 1998]
[Pages 940-941]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Message to the Senate Transmitting the Convention on Protection of 
Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption
June 11, 1998

To the Senate of the United States:
    With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to 
ratification, I transmit herewith the Convention on Protection of 
Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, adopted 
and opened for signature at the conclusion of the Seventeenth Session of 
the Hague Conference on Private International Law on May 29, 1993. 
Thirty-two countries, including the United States, have signed the 
Convention, 17 countries have ratified it, and one country has acceded 
to it. The provisions of the Convention are fully explained in the 
report of the Department of State that accompanies this message.
    The Convention sets out norms and procedures to safeguard children 
involved in intercountry adoptions and to protect the interests of their 
birth and adoptive parents. These safeguards are designed to discourage 
trafficking in children and to ensure that intercountry adoptions are 
made in the best interest of the children involved. Cooperation between 
Contracting States will be facilitated by the establishment in each 
Contracting State of a central authority with programmatic and case-
specific functions. The Convention also provides for the recognition of 
adoptions that fall within its scope in all other Contracting States.
    The Convention leaves the details of its implementation up to each 
Contracting State. Implementing legislation prepared by the 
Administration will soon be transmitted for introduction in the Senate 
and the House of Representatives. Once implementing legislation is 
enacted, some further time would be required to put the necessary 
regulations and institutional mechanisms in place. We would expect to 
deposit the U.S. instrument of ratification and bring the Convention 
into force for the United States as soon as we are able to carry out all 
of the obligations of the Convention.
    It is estimated that U.S. citizens annually adopt as many children 
from abroad as all other countries combined (13,621 children in Fiscal

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Year 1997). The Convention is intended to ensure that intercountry 
adoptions take place in the best interests of the children and parents 
involved, and to establish a system of cooperation among Contracting 
States to prevent abduction of, and trafficking in children. We have 
worked closely with U.S. adoption interests and the legal community in 
negotiating the provisions of the Convention and in preparing the 
necessary implementing legislation.
    I recommend that the Senate give its advice and consent to 
ratification of this Convention, subject to the declaration described in 
the accompanying report of the Department of State.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

June 11, 1998.