Latvia ups minimum age for children staying with foreign host families

On May 3 the Latvian parliament ruled that the children who are in state care will have to be aged twelve and above in order to go on brief stays in foreign host families, reports LSM's Latvian-language service.

As reported, schemes under which children in state care (i.e. who are staying at foster families or orphanages) are sent on trips abroad have come under criticism because they are thought to lead to increased foreign adoptions, with the result that mostly US-based would-be parents receive preferential treatment in adoption.

There is a caveat in that children younger than twelve will be able to go on these trips if at least one of their siblings, aged twelve and above, goes with them.

Other amendments were adopted in the same session, among other things upping education requirements for caregivers, and preventing people with a record of violent conduct from working in childcare. 

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