By Jamila Babayeva
The Cabinet of Ministers made amendments to the legislation on the adoption of Azerbaijani children by foreigners.
The amendments state that children cannot be adopted by foreigners or stateless persons without notifying the Cabinet of Ministers about the process, the Cabinet reported on March 18.
Under the amendments made to the law regarding the registration of people wishing to adopt children, the State Committee for Family, Women, and Children Affairs issues permits for the adoption of Azerbaijani children by foreign citizens or stateless persons taking the necessary measures while presenting the information to the Cabinet of Ministers.
Under the Azerbaijani President's decree dated March 12, 2007, and in accordance with the Hague Convention, the State Committee for Family, Women, and Children Affairs is the authorized body in international adoption issues. The Committee carries out the tasks of the Convention, and coordinates the relevant works of other state bodies and organizations.
Under another decision by the Cabinet of Ministers, an addition was made to the rules of accrediting bodies that provide legal assistance to foreigners or stateless persons while adopting children.
Under this amendment, the State Committee for Family, Women, and Children Affairs should submit reports to the Cabinet of Ministers on bodies that obtain accreditation for providing legal aid for international adoption every six months, on permits for activities in Azerbaijan, and on bodies accredited in foreign countries that are members of The Hague convention, on the activities of those bodies accredited by the State Committee on the territory of foreign states and control measures carried out in relation to children who are citizens of Azerbaijan, who are adopted by foreigners or stateless persons.
The State Committee tries to give children to Azerbaijani families living in their country or Azerbaijani families living abroad, assuming that kids will be more comfortable with their fellow countrymen.
Eight Azerbaijani children were adopted in 2013 by foreigners, with four of them adopted by Azerbaijani families living in Russia, and another four by Azerbaijani families living in Turkey, Iran, U.S., and France. Four of the adopted children were boys, while another four were girls.
Some 49 Azerbaijani children were adopted in 2017-2013 by 39 foreign families.
A child can be adopted by a foreign citizen after numerous suggestions to Azerbaijani families, and only if no Azerbaijani family claims him or her. After receiving an application from a foreigner, the state committee requires their background information from the institution dealing with adoptions in the home country.
The main criterion for international adoption is ensuring suitable conditions for children's well-being. A foreign national who intends to adopt an Azerbaijani child must not be deprived of parental rights by a court or have limited parental rights; people whose custody rights were revoked earlier by a court ruling, as well as those who cannot fulfill their parental obligations because of poor health, cannot adopt Azerbaijani children either.
The centralized recording of children under the age of three who are listed for adoption is carried out by the Health Ministry, while children between 3 and 18 years of age are recorded by the Education Ministry.