Coalition undecided on foreign adoption ban in Latvia

No consensus has yet been achieved by the government on the introduction of a temporary foreign adoption ban, Latvian Television reported July 22.

In the first reading of proposed legislation this month, the Saeima supported amendments to the law, which provide for a ban on the adoption of Latvian children abroad from September 1 until a new regulation is introduced.

According to the current arrangements, the monitoring of the child after leaving Latvia is merely formal and has many shortcomings. In the first reading, gaining a majority was achieved with the support of opposition members, because there is no consensus within the five-party coalition itself.

Last year, 42 children from Latvia were adopted abroad, all of them to the United States. This year, 19 children have already entered the foreign adoption process and will not be affected by changes in legislation.

These kids will all go to America, too. Issues regarding surveillance of adoption to foreign countries started after it was made public that information on the further movements of children on the Latvian side was rather limited, and it is provided by the same people who have helped to pass the adoption. Our officials do not carry out inspections across the ocean.

The majority of the Saeima – National Alliance, the New Conservative Party, New Unity, as well as some opposition and non-attached deputies – have already supported the banning of foreign adoption for a period of time in the first reading. Members of the Development/For and members of the Welfare Minister Party from KPV LV voted against.

“Foreign adoption is the last resort that gives children the right to grow in a family environment. We believe that children who have failed to find a family in Latvia should not be deprived of this opportunity,” said Saeima deputy Vita Anda Tērauda (Development/For).

The Minister for Welfare Ramona Petraviča recommends extending the post-adoption monitoring period for children adopted abroad until the child reaches the age of 18. It is currently just two years.

How long a legislative settlement might take, the Minister does not say, because the discussions are currently very tense.


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