38 ADOPTION AND VACATIONS ABROAD Certain concerns are raised by vacation abroad programs designed to promote the adoption of children with ‘special needs’ and, more specifically, older children who have difficulty being adopted in their own country. Although the programs may enable the children to find a family, they must never be a way to bypass the adoption procedure steps in THC-1993. In the same way as all intercountry adoptions, the programs must comply with the principle of subsidiarity, the obligation for receiving parents to be pre-assessed, selected and declared fit to adopt if an adoption takes place, the declaration of the child’s adoptability, and the professional and ethical matching process (see point 18). The child must be prepared for this specific situation and supported before, during and after the trip. In the case of the trip not resulting in an adoption, the goal is to prevent the possible trauma caused by the feeling of being rejected and abandoned again. Countries with these types of vacation abroad programs must carefully ensure that the programs comply with all the principles and rules set out in THC-1993, and adequately address the best interest of the child.
Programs linking vacations and intercountry adoption must be run with great care to avoid any new trauma for the children concerned.
MANIFESTO FOR ETHICAL INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION