In May 2016, the Rapporteur, Tadeusz Zwiefka, presented a Draft Report with recommendations to the Commission on cross-border aspects of adoption to the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) in the European Parliament.
As reported in the past, the European Parliament is concerned that there is currently no European provision for the recognition of domestic adoption orders and that the absence of such a provision could cause significant problems for parents of adopted children who wish to move to other Member States. Parents instead have to go through specific national recognition procedures or, in some countries, even re-adopt the child. The delays caused by such procedures can create a period of legal uncertainty and parents can have trouble exercising their parental authority.
The Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Inter-country Adoption, by which all EU Member States are bound, concerns the procedure for adoptions across borders and mandates the automatic recognition of such adoption. However, the Convention does not cover the situation of a family with a child adopted under a purely national procedure, which then moves to another country.
The Draft Report requests the Commission to submit, by 31 July 2017, on the legal basis of Article67(4) TFEU (mutual recognition of judgments and decisions) and Article 81(3) TFEU, (measures in the field of family law) a proposal for a Regulation on the automatic cross-border recognition of adoption orders.
The main features of the proposal are:
- Automatic recognition of adoption orders made in Member States under any procedure other than under the framework of the 1993 Hague Convention.
- Recognition must not be manifestly contrary to the public order of the recognising Member State and the Member State which took the adoption decision had jurisdiction to make the decision on the basis of the habitual residence of the parent/parents/child. An adoption decision taken in a third country and recognised by a Member State will have the same recognition in all Member States.
- The provision of specific procedures for deciding on any objections to recognition in specific cases
- The creation of an European Certificate of Adoption.
- The proposal does not oblige the Member States to recognise any legal relationship between the parents of an adopted child: it only concerns the individual parent-child relationship.
The JURI Committee has not yet set a date for the discussion and vote of the amendments.