Statement by the President: Signing of H.R. 2909 – Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (10/6/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                             October 6, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today I have signed into law H.R. 2909, the "Intercountry Adoption Act
of 2000."  This Act will implement the Hague Convention on Protection of
Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.  I am
pleased that the Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification of the
Convention on September 20, 2000.

     The United States and 65 other countries came together to negotiate
the Convention in response to abuses in the intercountry adoption process,
including illegal child trafficking.  By setting uniform standards, the
Convention better protects the rights and interests of children, birth
parents, and adoptive parents involved in intercountry adoption.

     In its preamble, the Convention recognizes that children should grow
up in a family environment and that properly safeguarded intercountry
adoption offers the advantage of a permanent family to children who cannot
readily be placed with a suitable family in their country of origin.  The
United States actively participated in the preparation and negotiation of
this Convention, with the guidance and participation of representa-tives of
U.S. adoption and family law interests.  Since the United States signed the
Convention in 1994, several ratifying countries have expressed the view
that they would prefer that their children emigrate only to countries that
have agreed to comply with the Hague Convention?s safeguards and
procedures.  As a result, the U.S. adoption community has supported U.S.
implementing legislation.  This bill will ensure the full and uniform
implementation of the Convention throughout the United States.

     Adoption is an emotional event.  With the complexities of
international law and procedures, these cases are often overwhelming for
the families involved.  The Hague Convention and the implementing
legislation will provide protections for children and parents engaged in
intercountry adoption and will help ensure a standard of service that all
families deserve.

                                   WILLIAM J. CLINTON

    October 6, 2000.

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