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On May 6th, President Roza Otunbaeva signed into law a bill that will allow prospective foreign parents to adopt from Kyrgyzstan, after a two-year moratorium…
Despite political upheaval that consumed the country last year, Kyrgyzstan managed to put into place new processes and guidelines to allow foreign adoptions. Kyrgyz officials say their intent was to reorganize the adoption process, and institute stricter controls in an effort to protect children from trafficking, abuse and exploitation.
Damira Niyazalieva, a Kyrgyz lawmaker explained, “We needed to put a specific, state body in charge of international adoption, to control the whole process from the very beginning.”
The Social Welfare Ministry has been tasked with acting as a central “clearing house” for foreign adoption. That’s marks a major change from the past, when foreign-based adoption agencies would have direct contact with Kyrgyz orphanages. Now, all agencies will go through the Ministry to process inter-country adoptions and the country will permit no direct contact by agencies with orphanages or orphans.
The plan is for the Ministry to create a bank of children eligible for adoption. Agencies will apply to the Ministry on behalf of prospective parents, and the Ministry will do the matching between child and parents, after background checks are conducted on prospective parents.
American families interested in proceeding with applications for adoption in Kyrgyzstan should be aware that, although many lawmakers have advocated that the country sign The Hague Treaty, it has not been ratified yet. Additionally, finalization of the law lifting the moratorium is expected to take three months.