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Intercountry adoption procedures are more in number and more transparent

In relation to statements by foreign adoptive parents and adoption agencies that the number of the adoptions significantly dropped down after Bulgaria joined the EU, the Press Center of the Ministry of Justice would like to make the following clarification:

After 1 December 2007, the Ministry of Justice as the Central Authority radically changed its Intercountry Adoption Policy and is doing its best to find appropriate families and homes for every child, registered with the Ministry of Justice.

The changes in the policy and organization of work of /International Legal Child Protection and Intercountry Adoptions/Directorate during the last year led to significant results. The adoption procedure is now more open and transparent and the adoption procedures – much faster. This positive change was also acknowledged by all the stakeholders – Accredited Adoption Organizations, Government Authorities and their representatives in the Intercountry Adoption Council, adoptive parents, Central Authorities under the International Conventions on Child Protection.

On 7 October 2008 the 100^th session of the Intecountry Adoption Council was held. For the period 13 December 2007 - 7 October 2008, the Council had 30 sessions – 1/3 of all sessions since the establishment of the Council. The total number of the sessions conducted since 13 December 2007 till the end of the last year was 36.

During the above given period, the Council worked very intensively, having sessions each Tuesday, 3 or 4 times monthly as on each session the Council reviewed not less than 20 dossiers of children, available for adoption and respectively not less than 70 applications of prospective adoptive parents.

Since December 2007 till the end of 2008 the Intecountry Adoption Council made 372 referrals for adoption of 415 children, which compared to the referrals for 2007 (91 referrals for the adoption of 95 children), clearly shows the new policy and child care system for abandoned and orphaned children.

In 2008, the number of the approved dossiers by the Minister of Health was 169 for the adoption of 184 children. For the same period 161 dossiers for adoption of 175 children were processed and sent to Court.

All information given above, clearly proves that the number of intercountry adoptions not only hasn’t decreased, but just the contrary, a lot of active and consistent efforts are being put into finding permanent families and homes for the abandoned and orphaned children.