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Child adoption rules face changes

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, September 22
The Chairman of the Health Committee of the Parliament, Dimitri Khundadze, and his Deputy Mirian Tsiklauri, have prepared a new draft law on child adoption and foster care. In total, changes will take place in 12 laws.

According to the draft, adoptive parents or foster caregivers have to do mandatory preparatory course. After passing the course, adoptive parents or foster caregivers will get certificates, which should be presented at the guardianship and care local authority with other documents.

Under the current law, a child is recognized as abandoned if he/she has been under State care for 6 months. This period is being reduced to 3 months according to the draft law.

Another change concerns the deprivation of parental rights. If it is proved that a parent does not pay proper attention to the child without a reasonable excuse, he/she will be warned by the local care authority. If the parent is still not interested in the fate of their child, the Guardianship and Care Authority has the right to discuss the issue and apply to the court and request the deprivation of parental rights.

Moreover, the conditions of child adoption will be tightened too. A person who has been convinced cannot become an adoptive parent, even if his/her conviction has been expunged or cleared.

Under the current law, adoption of a child of 10 years and more is prohibited without his/her consent.

The age difference between a foster parent and a child for adoption should not be less than 16 years. In case of valid reason, the court may change this age difference.

If the child’s age is less than 10 years, then the age difference between the child and the adoptive parent should not be more than 45 years.

Also, the separation of sister and brother, the sister or/and sisters and brothers will be prohibited, unless this corresponds to their interests.

Moreover, a preferential right to adoption is assigned to the relative of the child. The preferential right to adoption is assigned also to the foster parents, who have already adopted the sister or/and brother of the child for adoption.

The draft law has already been submitted to Parliament. It will be discussed and adopted by the new parliament after the October 8 elections.