The Agency acknowledges the central role of international law in providing the legal and ethical framework for the adoption of children habitually resident in one sovereign nation by foreign nationals habitually resident in another sovereign nation. We honor the instruments drafted with a respect for the fundamental rights of children, including, among others, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation In Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the “Hague Convention”), and the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which gave rise to the Hague Convention. We respect the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (the “IAA”)and the accreditation/approval regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of State pursuant to the IAA, which together brought the Hague Convention into force and effect in the United States on April 1, 2008.
In addition to being familiar with federal and New York State law, as well as international conventions and treaties applicable to adoption generally and international adoption in particular, of necessity we have gained a degree of familiarity with the laws, rules and regulations relating to the adoption process in various nations. We have done so with the assistance of foreign nationals who are lawyers practicing in New York and abroad.
The Agency’s founder is a lawyer admitted to practice in the State of New York and is in regular contact with lawyers abroad. We are developing and will maintain relationships with family law practitioners in each country in which Open Seas eventually operates.
While our hearts go out to the children around the world for whom life is a daily struggle, we are ever mindful that to help these children we must first observe the laws of their countries of origin, and to do that we have to know these laws well and evidence a respect for them.