Welfare Ministry moves to tighten regulation on foreign adoptions

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The Welfare Ministry proposes to ban foreign adoptions from foster families, ministry rep Linda Baļčūne told Latvian Radio June 7. 

The new rules on adoption, to be sent for government review, stipulate not only restrictions on foreign adoption but also introduce study programs for potential adoptive parents. "There'll be several active programs and people will be able to choose," she said.

Foreign adoptive parents will also have to undergo a similar learning program. While adoption agencies will have to publish information over the maximum costs incurred during adoption to countries outside Latvia. 

"It's more for the public, just so we can show how much it costs for a foreign adoptive parent to adopt from Latvia," she said. 

And finally, under the new rules foreign adoptive parents would only be allowed to adopt a child of their spouse, or a relative, or a child placed in an orphanage.

"But they won't be able to adopt from foster families," said Baļčūne.

Latvian Radio investigations have revealed that foreign host families, usually in the US, potentially, have advantages in adopting children from Latvia; this has resulted in the Welfare Ministry tightening the rules of the program. 

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