The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, is a multilateral treaty concluded on May 29, 1993 in The Hague, Netherlands. To date, more than 81 countries have joined the Convention, including the United States and many of the countries from which U.S. citizens adopt most frequently. A current list of countries that are parties to the Convention can be found at www.hcch.net.
The Convention covers adoptions between countries that become parties to it and sets out for such adoptions certain internationally agreed upon minimum norms and procedures. The goal of the Convention is to protect the children, birth parents and adoptive parents involved in inter-country adoptions and to prevent child-trafficking and other abuses. The United States signed the treaty in March of 1994 and in 2000 the U.S. Congress passed the Inter-country Adoption Act (IAA), which provides the U. S. implementation of the Convention. The Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008.
Since the United States has ratified the Convention, United States adoption service providers need to be accredited or be supervised by an accredited adoption service provider should they wish to provide adoption services in cases involving the United States and another Convention country. The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) along with the Council on Accreditation (COA) have been designated by the U.S. Department of State as accrediting entities. The Colorado Department of Human Services is the only state agency in the nation to perform this function. CDHS may only accredit adoption service providers located in the State of Colorado. To receive and maintain accreditation, adoption service providers need to be in substantial compliance with the Hague standards established in 22 CRF Part 96.
More information on the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption can be found at http://adoption.state.gov/