18-22 Dec 2017

Can a criminal adopt a child? Yes, in Slovakia

The man is now accused of pedophilia, pornography and sexual abuse. Will this case inspire a change in the adoption system?

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Can a criminal adopt a child? Yes, in Slovakia - NewsMavens
Adoption. Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

children, youth

When he applied to become an adoptive father, he had already been sentenced 11 times. The girl was the daughter of his acquaintance, who was unable to raise her. Slovak authorities consented without requesting information about his past. No one inquired into his legal situation.

The man is now accused of three criminal acts connected to pedophilia, pornography and sexual abuse.

Did the officials apologize? Hardly. They do not seem to think a huge mistake was made. A minor one, maybe. The prosecutor, who was supposed to look after the girl's best interests, was given a verbal rebuke. That’s it, no more consequences.

The Slovak public is sensitive to cases of child abuse. Last year, there was a scandal involving the abuse of minors in a re-socialization and drug-rehab center for the youth. Again, no one was held responsible though the center lost accreditation. People were angry. They felt that the state failed to protect its most vulnerable citizens.

Today it seems clear that no lessons were learned from that incident and citizens must put more pressure on authorities to increase protection for Slovak orphans. 

Details from the story:

  • A girl was adopted by a repeat criminal. The office of labor, social affairs and family was not able to protect her from a man with a documented criminal history. The court and the prosecutor also failed.
  • The girl was sent to live in a one-room flat with an older man who was not her relative.
  • The prosecutor received a verbal rebuke.
  • Officials were not incited to change the adoption system.
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