Article 21

You have the right to have the best care for you if you are adopted or living in foster care.

Article 21 of the UNCRC says that when a child or young person is adopted or living in foster care, their best interests should come first. People should listen to what they want, and should take this into account when making decisions about where they live.

If a child or young person becomes adopted, they should be adopted by people who are able to treat them well. Adoption should be properly regulated by the State to make sure all children and young people can live a safe and happy life.

Crossing countries

Children and young people can be adopted by people in a country that is not their own, but this should only happen as a last resort. If this happens, people should make sure they will be treated as well as they would be if they were adopted in their own country.

Related articles

Article 8

Children and young people shouldn't have to give up any aspects of their identity Article 8 protects when they're put up for adoption.

Article 9

Children and young people shouldn't be put up for adoption unless this is in their best interests.

Article 20

Article 20 of the UNCRC is about what happens when a child or young person can no longer live with their parents, so is closely related to this one.

Article 25

Article 25 of the UNCRC says that children and young people should be checked up on when they're living away from their family.

Full text

This article is a simplified version of Article 21 of the UNCRC. The full text of the Article can be found below:

States Parties that recognize and/or permit the system of adoption shall ensure that the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration and they shall:
(a) Ensure that the adoption of a child is authorized only by competent authorities who determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures and on the basis of all pertinent and reliable information, that the adoption is permissible in view of the child's status concerning parents, relatives and legal guardians and that, if required, the persons concerned have given their informed consent to the adoption on the basis of such counselling as may be necessary;
(b) Recognize that inter-country adoption may be considered as an alternative means of child's care, if the child cannot be placed in a foster or an adoptive family or cannot in any suitable manner be cared for in the child's country of origin;
(c) Ensure that the child concerned by inter-country adoption enjoys safeguards and standards equivalent to those existing in the case of national adoption;
(d) Take all appropriate measures to ensure that, in inter-country adoption, the placement does not result in improper financial gain for those involved in it;
(e) Promote, where appropriate, the objectives of the present article by concluding bilateral or multilateral arrangements or agreements, and endeavour, within this framework, to ensure that the placement of the child in another country is carried out by competent authorities or organs.