Frequently Asked Questions
Who can adopt?
Romanian citizens residing in Romania, or foreign citizens with long term residence permit or domicile in Romania, who obtain the suitability declaration confirming the suitability of the adopting family or individual, and who have been staying uninterruptedly on the territory of the country during the last 6 months, interrupted only by absences that are less than 3 months long.
Romanian citizens with residence abroad can also apply for adoption through the competent authority of the respective country. Such citizens can only adopt children for whom no persons or families with Romanian residence have been found during a 1-year period (see: Article No. 52(2) of Law 273/2004). Since the matching of children and families is performed by social services (based on the National Adoption Record), legislation prohibits any family deemed suitable for adoption from initiating the identification of any child available for adoption.
What is the difference between fostering and adoption?
Although both procedures serve the child's best interest and the enforcement of their rights, one must see clearly the differences between the two. While the goal of adoption is to establish kinship between the adopter and their relatives and the adopted child, so that the adopted child enters the legal status of the adopter's child, children placed at professional foster carers or foster families remain the member of their biological family until adoption.
Professional foster carers therefore care for children who still have some kind of relationship with their parents or provide them with care until they can return to their biological families. Since they look after all kinds of children in addition to their own, and a number of outcomes are possible, in contrast with adoption, foster parenting requires different kind of preparation.
How long can the adoption process take?
It is hard to assume how much time will have elapsed from the initiation of adoption to its realization, given that the necessary timeframes for obtaining some of the documents or conducting examinations, procedures etc. may vary on a case-by-case basis.
Can foster parents adopt the children in their care?
Professional foster carers and foster families or legal guardians have priority in adopting the children for whom they have initiated adoption proceedings, if they have cared for them for at least 6 months, and only if none of the child's relatives avail themselves of the opportunity to adopt.
Foster carers and foster families also can adopt after their suitability for adoption has been established. Within 30 days from the receipt of the notification regarding the start of the adoption proceedings they have to submit their application for the assessment for the issuance of the declaration of suitability.
What kind of adoption procedures are in place in Romania?
In Romania closed adoption is the only option. Therefore, the biological parent(s) and the adoptive parents do not have access to each other's identification details.
How is the assessment of suitability conducted, and what does this entail for us?
Suitability for adoption is assessed by social service specialists, and the stages of the process are coordinated with the prospective adoptive parents by the competent services. For generic elements of the process you may also consult our response about the formal adoption procedures.
Always request information at the competent authorities of your place of residence! For a start, we recommend the detailed information provided by the Bucharest's 6th District specialized social services: https://www.protectiacopilului6.ro/directia-generala_doc_13_birou-adoptii-si-postadoptii_pg_0.htm
Where does the child come from?
In Romania adoption procedures are managed by state social services. Limited involvement of accredited non-governmental organizations is allowed only in some of the subprocesses. Children come mostly from the state child protection system.
What are the steps of the adoption process, and the official procedures?
Preliminary information and guidance on adoption procedures can be obtained from the competent County/District Directorate of Social and Child Protection Service of your place of residence. Authorized private organizations can also provide information.
Submission of required documents and application for the assessment for the declaration of suitability of a person/family.
The assessment of a person's/family's suitability is conducted by the Adoption Office at the Social Directorate or other authorized private organizations, and the process takes place in a maximum period of 90 days from the date of submission.
Its aim is to assess parental skills that are relevant to the development and education of the child, and to determine the existing moral and financial circumstances.
4. THE DECLARATION OF SUITABILITY
The declaration of suitability is valid for five years, a period which can be automatically extended if its expiry date falls after the start of court proceedings aimed at processing the application for pre-adoption care.
5. ESTABLISHING FAMILY AND CHILD COMPATIBILITY
For every child in the National Adoption Record for whom a final decision initiating adoption has been issued a list is prepared with eligible adopters/families that suit their individual needs.
Following a series of meetings and analyses, the social services establish the compatibility of the child and the selected prospective adopter/family and prepares the compatibility report.
The Court places the child in the care of the family involved for a 90-day period, in the course of which the social service will monitor the development of the child, and the evolution of their relationship with the adopting person/family, by visiting them twice per month.
At the completion of the pre-adoption care period the Office for Adoptions prepares its final report on how the child adapted to the new environment and makes a proposal for the approval of the adoption.
Article No. 42 of Law No. 273/2004 enumerates the cases when the pre-adoption care phase can be omitted.
The compatibility report together with the legally required documentation is submitted in Court, for the Court to approve or disapprove the adoption.
8. POST-ADOPTION FOLLOW-UP
After the adoption is concluded, the Adoption Office shall follow up on the child's development in the new environment, and its relationship with the adoptive parents, so that the full integration of the child in the family can be fulfilled. According to their identified needs adoptive families have the possibility to access post-adoption services. The post-adoption follow-up of the family lasts at least two years (Article No. 81 of Law 273/2004).
What are the financial conditions of adoption?
(Income limits, administrative costs etc.)
When assessing the financial situation of prospective adoptive families, resources, continuity and handling personal/family expenses are considered instead of establishing certain income limits.
The Adoption Office does not charge administration costs, but there are costs related to the requested documents, e. g.: like the notarization of copies, or court stamping fees (as the case may be) etc.
Can we meet the parent who gives away the child
Given that adoptions are closed in Romania, adoptive parents do not have the possibility to meet the biological parents.
When and how can adopted children look for their
In accordance with the applicable law the adopted person can submit a request to the court in whose territorial jurisdiction he/she resides or, if that person resides abroad, Tribunalul Bucureşti, to gain access to information held by authorities on his/her biological parents/relatives.
What financial help can we expect after adoption?
Adoption leave and other benefits
Article No. 50 of Law No. 273/2004 lays down that in the case of any adoptive person or family, any one of the spouses in receipt of income subject to income tax may benefit from an adoption leave of absence for up to one year, and a monthly allowance that amounts to 3.4 times the social reference index (the value of the social reference index being 500 RON), which corresponds to 1700 RON (2016 figure).
How significant are the expectations about the
child we wish to find?
The criteria given in the suitability decision/assessment report serve as guidelines for the competent services when they look for adoptive parents for the children. For this reason, it is important for everyone involved to clarify from the very beginning what kind of child they have in mind. These criteria not only define what prospective adopters are open to, but also determine within what time-frame will they find a child.
Can one breastfeed their adopted child?
Yes, adopted babies can also be breastfed. We recommend you consult the resources published on the La Leche League webpage, and a lactation consultant.
When is the right time to inform the employer
about the adoption?
Since it is difficult to predict when a child will be found, or when the child will be placed in the care of the prospective adopter, the timing of notification is also problematic. Every case needs to be evaluated individually, based on the relationship with the employer one needs to decide how to communicate about the waiting period, since this can be very short or very long, lasting even several years.
Can the adoption be dissolved?
Adoption can be dissolved or annulled. Relevant provisions are set out in Chapter 6 of Law No. 273/2004.
Are there any advantages biological relatives have regarding the adoption of a child?
Fourth-degree relatives need to be tracked down, and confirmation is necessary that they do not wish to exercise their rights deriving from kinship. This means that the law, with its focus on the child's best interest, first provides the wider family with the opportunity for making a decision.
Can an adopted child inherit?
Given that the goal of adoption is to is to establish for the adopted child the legal status of the legitimate child, the adopted child can inherit.