Today, November 28, 2012, a meeting was held with the participation of all accredited organizations, the Deputy Minister of Justice - Ms. Velina Todorova, the director of the Directorate for International Legal Child Protection and Intercountry Adoption - Ms. Milena Parvanova, the Head of the Social Activities Department – Ms. Petya Todorova, and some other experts from the Directorate.
1. Statistics 2012
The Ministry of Justice presented detailed statistics. In view of the dynamics of the Register of candidate-adopters (the inscription of new candidates and the requests for removal from the register of others, respectively), at present the approximate number of the waiting candidate-adopters inscribed in the Register is about 1400.
As per November 26, 2012 the Ministry has received the files of 642 children. Of those children, only 236 have been inscribed. 76 of the files are incomplete and the MOJ is waiting for the local services to provide the missing documents. 41 of the files have been returned to the local services due to the impossibility, for different reasons, for those children to be adopted. The rest of the children’s files have not been processed yet. The Ministry of Justice promised to have those files processed within the following months so as to compensate for the delay in registering the children.
From the beginning of 2012 until now the Intercountry Adoption Council has had 32 meetings. 384 referrals have been made.
The results of each of the accredited organizations were reported and Family National Association has the second highest number of referrals received in the 2012.
However, the MOJ noted that, following the order of the candidates’ inscription in the Register, they are currently referring children to the candidate-adopters who were registered in 2010.
2. The criteria published on the website of the Ministry of Justice
For more information, please click here.
Criterion № 4 regarding the socioeconomic status of the prospective adopters was eliminated. Apparently, the Ministry has decided that this assessment falls entirely within the competence of the authorities which issue the candidate-adopters’ Approval.
Unfortunately, the MOJ observes the age criteria nearly strictly, despite of its prescriptive nature. The adoption procedure under Art. 21 of Ordinance № 13/2009, for the children published on the Ministry’s website, is no exception. The Intercountry Adoption Council would allow exceptions of the age criterion for candidates, applying for children who are hard to place, considering carefully each particular case and only in case one of the applicants has not reached the age of 70 years yet and the age of the other one fits the age criterion.
3. A project for the amendment of Ordinance № 12 and Ordinance № 13
The Ministry of Justice promised to send their projects for the amendment of both Ordinances to all accredited organizations and later have them discussed with the agencies.
It was suggested that an advantage for the Bulgarian citizens living abroad is introduced in Оrdinance № 13. Some of the accredited organizations expressed their concerns that this would not be accepted positively at the international level since it discriminates the other prospective adopters. This matter will be discussed further.