New requirements for adopting in Malta

Babies available for adoption are scarce on the Mediterranean archipelago, so adoption in Malta has become an international matter.

Daiva Repeckaite
Daiva Repeckaite NewsMavens, Malta
New requirements for adopting in Malta - NewsMavens
Baby sleeping. Pixabay.

Why this story matters:

Ethiopia, Russia, India, Cambodia, Slovakia...such is the geography of Maltese cross-border adoption. Unable to conceive but incapable of adopting babies in Malta, families must look for children elsewhere, often braving racial prejudice. Prospective parents rely on international adoption agencies to be matched, and now the government is taking steps to standardize and regulate their services.

The landscape is constantly changing -- Russia stopped cooperating with Malta on adoption, and Ethiopia banned cross-border adoption earlier this year. Some authorities in other countries are uncomfortable with the fact that Malta allows single persons and same-sex couples to adopt.

Malta is a country with patchy sex education and high rates of teenage pregnancy, as well as the strictest abortion ban in the EU, which means that women are obliged to carry children conceived due to rape and incest.

In these circumstances, one could expect that individuals unable to conceive would have many abandoned babies to choose from. However, this is not the case, as most children in Maltese orphanages still have ties with their biological parents and thus are available only for fostering, not for adoption.

As reported by the Times of Malta earlier, 230 children out of the 480 who are not living with their biological parents were being fostered by 208 carers in 2017. Foster parents receive €70 to €100 per week in allowances. Adoptive parents receive a one-off grant of €10,000.

Details from the story:

  • The Social Regulatory Standards for the Adoption of Children follow a consultation process which began last year.
  • Family minister Michael Falzon said that 40 Maltese households have adopted internationally this year.
  • A new agreement for cross-border adoption was signed with Bulgaria.
  • The government provides a €10,000 grant for parents who adopt.
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