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Moldova: New Rules for Child Adoption Proposed

(Dec. 31, 2012) On November 1, 2012, the Parliament of Moldova passed at the first reading amendments to the legislation governing adoption of children. (Tatiana Gurzu, Parliament Changes Child Adoption Procedure in Moldova [in Russian], KOMMERSANT.MD (Nov.1, 2012).) As described by <?Moldova's Minister of Social Protection, Labor, and Family Affairs, the bill is aimed at simplifying adoption procedures and reducing the time limit for document processing, especially when foreign individuals intend to adopt Moldovan children. The bill also seeks to address problems related to the separation of siblings in the course of adoption. (Ana Rimbu, Adoption Procedure for Moldovan Resident Children Will Be Changed [in Russian], PUBLIKA.MD (Aug. 2, 2012).)

The bill divides children who are available for adoption into two groups, with a different legal regime for each. One is for children without specific needs, i.e., healthy children under seven years of age; the other is for children with specific needs. The second group includes children with limited abilities, including those with developmental disabilities or those who are at enhanced risk for further developmental problems, children who are seven years of age or older, and children who have one or several seven-year-old or older siblings. (Government of the Republic of Moldova, Decree No. 568 of August 3, 2012, on Amendments to Selected Legislative Acts, Parliament of Moldova website.)

The bill also changes the procedure for adoption of Moldovan children by foreigners. In order to adopt a Moldovan child, a foreign citizen must file a petition through an accredited international child adoption organization. (Id.) Issues related to accreditation of such foreign organizations are addressed in the bill. Each organization will be required to undergo annual certification by Moldovan authorities. Certification can be extended for another year upon the organization’s submission of an activity report. (Id.)

The court in the locality where an orphan is residing will issue the adoption order. If a child is ten years old or older, his/her consent must be obtained in preparation for the adoption case hearing. In addition, the child must consent to a possible change of his or her given name and last name that might occur after the adoption. (Id.) Decisions of the central adoption authority (which is an agency that will be designated later by the government) on the choice of parents for an adopted child will have to be confirmed by a specially created Consultation Council. Additionally, the Council will have the power to rule on the reasonableness of separation of siblings. (Id.)

Prepared by Virab Khachatryan, Law Library contract Foreign Law Specialist, under the supervision of Peter Roudik, Director of Legal Research.