Meeting between the Ministry of Justice and the Bulgarian NGOs-July 5,2016

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Yesterday a meeting between the accredited organizations in Bulgaria and the Deputy Minister of Justice was held. Once again, it was noted that some disturbing tendencies continue that are depriving the children of the opportunity to be adopted.

Statistics show that unfortunately a very small number of the children deprived of parental care in Bulgaria receive the chance of adoption. At present there are about 7000 children placed in institutions and foster families and unfortunately only 2500 of them have been registered for adoption. The reason for that is the strive for receiving the financial resources from the EU funds granted for child care. Adoption means that the respective institution or provider of foster care services will no longer receive the EU funding amount, designated for the child that has been adopted. The previous trend for not sending children files from the domestic adoption registry to the register for intercountry adoption continues, although it was subject of many meetings and discussions between the MOJ and the local authorities. This means that the attention of the society needs to be drawn to these erroneous policies that obviously have a fatal effect over the destiny of the children, leaving them to grow in institutions and foster families.

The changes in the Family Code, aiming at compulsory and automatic registration of all children, without the opportunity for the social workers to make any assessment are unfortunately put on hold for the moment. They are absolutely ready to be submitted for discussion at the parliament. However, they are put on hold so as to wait the preparation of some other changes, concerning the domestic adoption procedure, so as all the changes in the Family Code could be discussed together.

It was decided that meetings with the local authorities, media appearances and a conference about this subject should be organized.

Unfortunately all these processes will not lead to a fast optimization of the waiting periods for receiving referrals in the intercountry adoption procedure, which means that the registered and waiting currently 1378 prospective adopters in this procedure will have to be patient and to show understanding so as to realize their adoption project successfully.

We are calling on all our partners and everyone who feels engaged with the problems to refer these issues to the international institutions, Hague Conference on protection of children and intercountry adoption and the EU institutions so as to support us in our efforts to help the abandoned children of Bulgaria.