HAGUE STANDARD: 96.35 Suitability of Agencies and Persons to Provide Adoption
Services Consistent with the Convention
Policy: 96.35 Conflict of Interest Policy
Date Approved: 7-27-19 Reviewed: 4-16-2023 Revised: 7-27-19
Policy: Adoption & Beyond, Inc.’s conflict of interest policy is designed to provide ethical guidelines for Agency individual representatives (employees, contract workers, students, volunteers, agents, and board members, etc.). This policy serves as a framework, which outlines safeguards against unethical actions or potential illegal activities.
Procedures:Adoption & Beyond, Inc. will maintain ethical practices and follow prescribed procedures to ensure that contractual relationships and Agency business arrangements are made to serve the best interest of the Agency as whole and not individual personal interests.
1. A conflict of interest is defined as any situation where an individual representative’s personal interests or those of a family member, business associate or an individual to whom the Agency representative owes an obligation could influence the individual’s decisions and impair the individual’s ability to represent or fulfill the goals and objectives of the Agency.
2. All individuals should avoid situations that may be considered or construed to be a conflict of interest while representing or working for the Agency.
Conflict of Interest Guidelines include the following:
a. A reasonably well informed individual participates in a decision that promotes their own personal interests.
b. An individual is considering an investment in or working for a company doing business with the Agency.
c. An individual is permitted to approve an expenditure, which could result in an outside profit or commission to that same individual.
d. An individual fails to recuse themselves when objectivity is at risk such as a decision that is being made related to hiring, promotions, salaries, etc. when the decision is about self or a family member.
e. An individual conducts Agency business with vendors, contractors or suppliers who have a direct relationship to the entity through a personal or family involvement.
f. An individual accepts significant gifts, money or other personal favors while completing an adoption. The acceptance of any money or gifts is not a permissible action. This procedure is offered as a deterrent to reduce the risk of a conflict of interest or any type of bribe or misrepresentation.
4. The Agency shall not provide any incentive fee for locating or placing a child for adoption and compensation to individuals who provide intercountry adoption services should be on a fee-for-service, hourly wage or salary basis only.
5. In connection with any actual or possible conflicts of interest, an interested individual must disclose or be known to have the existence or potential existence of their financial relationship or interest and must be given the opportunity to disclose all material facts to the Executive Director, Committee Members or Board of Directors considering the proposed transaction or arrangements.
6. After disclosure of conflict or potential conflict, all material facts presented and after any discussion with the interested individual, the interested individual shall leave the meeting while Adoption & Beyond, Inc.’s Executive Director in conjunction with Committee Members or Board of Directors evaluate any actual or potential conflicts of interest and make a final vote of determination related to the conflict described. This disclosure will become general information and will be recorded in Board of Directors minutes to ensure proper resolution (name of individual who disclosed conflict or potential conflict, nature of the issue, actions to determination, the results and those present for discussion and vote). Outcomes will be discussed with the individual, as applicable. If the information is designated as highly sensitive or confidential, the information shall be redacted to ensure confidentiality of the involved party.
7. It shall be the responsibility of individuals to take the necessary and appropriate steps to resolve all actual or potential conflicts of interests. Failure to follow recommendations set forth to enforce these procedures may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
8. All professionally licensed individuals should follow licensure requirements, code of ethics and guidelines specific to their practice.
9. If any individual has any questions related to this policy, they should notify the Executive Director.