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                              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 Conventions 	 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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