Latvian parliament prepares to make child adoption to foreign countries more difficult

On Thursday, 16 December, the Saeima passed in the final reading amendments to the Law on the Protection of the Children’s Rights. These amendments provide major changes to the child adoption procedure by foreigners.
For years politicians in Latvia have discussed the issue of limiting the adoption of children by foreigners to live in foreign countries.
Discussions were the most active in the Saeima last year, when the proposal to limit child adoption to foreign countries was proposed.
The approved changes dictate that in cases provided by the law it will be permitted to adopt children to foreign countries that have ratified the Hague Adoption Convention and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Countries to which Latvia will permit adoption of children are also required to have signed a mutual agreement with Latvia on comprehensive legal cooperation in the field of foreign child adoption.
As noted by Attīstībai/Par! political party, this new redaction will no longer permit adoption of children to USA. In 1995 the convention was signed on behalf of USA by Madeleine Albright. However, it remains non-ratified to this day. The party referenced the explanation published in Jurista Vārds magazine, adding that the reasons for this include the level of bureaucracy and specifics of US legislation.
This presents a problem for child adoption to USA, considering the latest changes to the child adoption laws in Latvia, AP notes. At the same time, the party also adds that based on information from the Ministry of Welfare most children adopted in Latvia by foreigners go to USA.
«It is in the child’s best interest to remain in a safe environment, which is something only a loving family can provide. There are more than 550 children currently staying at social care centres in Latvia,» according to AP.
The new redaction of the law is planned to come to force 1 July 2022.
Adoption to foreign countries will be possible if an orphan court that rules on out of family care receives approval from the Foreign Adoption Commission that includes a conclusion that the adoption process to the foreign country meets specific child rights protection principles and is in the adopted child’s best interest.