Long wait criticized as 188 families are in line to adopt kids

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A total 188 families are waiting to adopt children in Latvia, and the long queue is one of the most irritating aspects of the adoption process, would-be-guardians said in a Welfare Ministry poll with 322 respondents, reports Latvian Radio. 

People looking to adopt children in Latvia undergo certain vetting procedures. Their licence to adopt children sometimes runs out before they are able to officially become legal guardians of someone.

NGOs suggest that potential adoptive parents should be allowed to care for children before the necessary documents are formed as more than a hundred infants are forced to spend months or years inside Latvia's childcare institutions.

"It seems that, just like it was in the 90s, a lot is being done to prevent children ... to enter [new] families," said Inguna Ebele, head of the Glābiet bērnus (Save the Children) Association.

"A child, an infant rejected by its parents or whose situation is unclear as the parents can take them back for six months, should still go to [an adoptive] parent that are expecting to adopt a child and have been vetted already," she said.

About 300 to 400 families receive permission to become guardians each year, however the status is being granted for a year. The permission is expected to be prolonged, said Inese Fecere-Antipina at the Azote association of guardians.

The Welfare Ministry records say 1,308 children are up for adoption in Latvia. Most - about 900 - are aged ten to eighteen years of age. There are just eight infants aged less than a year old among them.

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