Asia Pacific International Adoption Forum Standards of Practice

ADOPTION ORGANISATIONS AND CO-OPERATION WITH OTHER BODIES

Article 16

The organisation must always work to achieve the best interests of the child. The organisation should refuse its co-operation as soon as there is any doubt on this point.

Article 17

The organisation must acknowledge the need for work that promotes providing new families in their home countries for children who have been abandonned or deprived of parental care, and for prevention of abandonment and support for children who cannot be placed with a new family. Support overseas child welfare services that have a tangible effect on the welfare of children and families. If support comes from adopting families, this support comes after adoptions have been completed. When appropriate, assist child welfare professionals abroad in improving their international or domestic adoption programs.

Article 18

The contact with whom the organisation co-operates in the child's country of origin must be an authority, organisation or institution which is authorised to mediate in the field of intercountry adoption according to the laws of that country. The organisation must procure thorough information of the activities of this contact and establish that these activities, beyond any reasonable doubt, follow the CONVENTION ON PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND CO-OPERATION IN RESPECT OF INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION. The organisation must actively encourage their organizational affiliations and representatives to be knowledgeable and adhere to the Asia Pacific International Adoption Forum Standards of Practice within the legal parameters of their resident countries.

Article 19

The organisation must inform the relevant authorities in the child's country of origin of the principles and practices upon which the organisation intends to work.

Article 20

The organisation is responsible for the working methods of its representatives and co-workers. The salary or remuneration paid to representatives and co-workers by the organisation should be reasonable, taking into consideration the cost of living of the country as well as the scope and terms of the work undertaken. Payment for activity of child placement should be based on fee for service basis that premised on the amount of time, reasonable compensation for time and other identified costs related to that placement and/or other related child welfare services. Fees charged to the organisation by professionals should be commensurate with the work carried out.

Article 21

Representatives and co-workers responsible for the adoption procedures should have professional or other appropriate training. The organisation should encourage the continuing education and professional development of their domestic and international staff and representatives especially in social service skills and encourage participation and leadership in professional organizations. Article 22 Organisations must provide information to the competent authorities of both the sending and receiving countries concerning trafficking in children, improper financial gain and any other abuses. They must promote adoption through licensed or authorised organisations.

Article 23

The organisations should Try to develop practical co-operation amongst themselves concerning the placement for adoption of children with special needs so as to increase their chances of being

placed with suitable adoptive families. They should also promote co-operation regarding research, counselling groups, adoptive parents groups, social services etc., and disseminate the information. Commit to work collaboratively with other agencies by sharing information about such issues as changes in procedures in sending, receiving and other relevant countries, effective professional practices, new research, community resources, and opportunities for additional support to child welfare sectors of overseas countries. Collaborate with affiliating agencies by delineating responsibilities, establishing lines of communication, and fully disclosing information on children to networking agencies in order to facilitate the best possible placement for the child and the optimum support system for the parents.

Article 24

The adoption work should be carried out in such a way that competition for children or contacts is avoided.

Article 25

Organisations having or intending to have the same contact in a country should consult and exchange information.

Article 26

An organisation which terminates co-operation with a contact in a country of origin because the contact is operating in violation of the Hague Convention or contrary to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child or is ethically doubtful in other ways, must inform other organisations accordingly.

Article 27

An organisation wishing to express criticism concerning the work of another organisation must convey the matter directly to the organisation concerned and, communicate directly with other agencies or individuals when concerns arise regarding professional conduct or practice. If concerns are unresolved, member agencies may bring the issue to the Board of Asia Pacific International Adoption Forum for discussion, or other action. Agencies shall adhere to the laws of sending countries in use of internet to promote placement of children.