Moving Toward Human Rights Principles for Intercountry Adoption

68 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2014

Date Written: 2013


This article articulates rights in existing intercountry adoption conventions as the touchstone for fleshing out substantive human rights expectations in international conventions, centered on the concept of human dignity. It discusses a cluster of meanings that grow out of our recognition of human dignity which are foundational to a just and workable adoption regime across national lines: the realism principle; the global interdependence principle; the family diversity principle; and the vulnerability principle.

The four core principles of the Convention of the Rights of the Child - non-discrimination; devotion to the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development, and respect for the views of the child - can be re-anchored to the concept of human dignity to inform these concerns about the value and limitations of intercountry adoption.

Keywords: intercountry adoption, adoption, human rights, human dignity, realism principle, global interdependence, family diversity, vulnerability, Convention of the Rights of the Child, non-discrimination, right to life, birthparents, adoptive, David Smolin, Hague Convention on Adoption, international

JEL Classification: J13, K00, K19, K39, F00, I30, I31, N40, N44

Suggested Citation

Failinger, Marie A., Moving Toward Human Rights Principles for Intercountry Adoption (2013). North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, Vol. 39, p. 523 (2014), Available at SSRN:

Marie A. Failinger (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States

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