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HCCH Monthly Update: November 2021

Conventions & Instruments

On 17 November 2021, the Russian Federation signed the HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention. Although the 2019 Judgments Convention is not yet in force, the Russian Federation is its fifth signatory. The Russian Federation has been a Member of the HCCH since 2001 and is a Contracting Party to six HCCH Conventions. More information is available here.

Meetings & Events

On 5 November 2021, the HCCH hosted a virtual seminar on the HCCH 1980 Child Abduction Convention and the HCCH 1996 Child Protection Convention for the Supreme Court of Ukraine. This was the second of a series of seminars, organised with the generous support of the EU Project Pravo-Justice, aimed at facilitating the proper and effective implementation of the HCCH Conventions and instruments in Ukraine. More information is available here.

Change in German International Adoption Law

Last week the German parliament approved a reform of the German adoption law. The reform was triggered by a decision of the Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht – BVerfG) declaring provisions unconstitutional that did not allow a stepchild adoption for non-marital couples (English translation of the decision here).

The legislator took the opportunity to adapt the conflict of law provisions. The relevant rule, article 22 Introductory Act to the Civil Code (EGBGB) only applies to adoptions in Germany and those abroad that were not established by a foreign court or authority. In the latter case the rules on recognition of court decisions apply. Furthermore, the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption prevails. The new rule, thus, mainly determines the law applicable on the acceptance of an adoption by private agreement that occurred abroad.

The former relevant provision, Article 22 para 1 EGBGB stated, cited after the translation made by Juliana Mörsdorf for the Federal Office of Justice: