Working meeting between the Deputy Minister of Justice and Bulgarian Accredited Organizations, February 14, 2012

15/02/2012

On 14 Feb. 2012 a working meeting was held with the participation of representatives of the accredited organizations and the Deputy Minister of Justice Ms. Todorova. The following issues, related to intercountry adoption, were discussed during the meeting:

1)     The delay as regards children’s dossiers being sent from the regional adoption authorities to the Ministry of Justice and the dual regulation as regards the inscription of children available for adoption in the register for domestic adoption and the register for intercountry adoption. Deputy Minister Todorova said that, during her forthcoming meeting with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, she is committed to raise the question of introducing a mechanism which will guarantee that the local adoption authorities will send children’s dossiers to the Ministry of Justice right after the 6-month period for domestic adoption expires. The Deputy Minister and the representatives of the Adoption Directorate promised that they will consider changes in Ordinance № 13, concerning the conditions for inscribing children in the register for intercountry adoption. The aim is to avoid double-checking children’s dossiers and for children to be inscribed in the register for intercountry adoption based on their inscription in the register for domestic adoption, without introducing additional requirements and verifications.

2)     The need for optimization and transparency in the work of the Intercountry Adoption Council. Deputy Minister Todorova agreed that it is possible to publish the complete list of families, reviewed by the Intercountry Adoption Council during their meetings, and not only the families the Council have voted a decision for. The representatives of the Directorate agreed to prepare and publish an updated list of the candidate adopters who have been inscribed in the register and are waiting for a referral.

Last but not least, Deputy Minister Todorova agreed to set up a discussion about the possibility of having representatives of the accredited organizations participate in the meetings of the Intercountry Adoption Council in the capacity of observers, following a principle of rotation. She stated her readiness to consider all suggestions that would guarantee transparency in the work of the Intercountry Adoption Council.

Other topics discussed include the alarming trends in childcare such as problems when placing children in foster families and the fact that most children in foster families have not been inscribed in the register for adoption; the establishment of Centers for family type accommodation as a justification for closing old institutions, which, unfortunately, does not lead to the deinstitutionalization of children; the large-scale unsuccessful reintegration of children as a current negative trend; the need for regulating the work with special needs children, including children of higher age, in accordance with Art. 21 of Ordinance № 13.