10 foster applicants per child in Iran

July 21, 2019

TEHRAN – There are 10 applicants for fostering each child in the country, the Welfare Organization’s director for children affairs said on Sunday, adding this issue has prevented the child adoption process to speed up.

The organization is hosting three care centers for these children, two centers are taking care of boys with a capacity of 190 boys and there is a center for girls with a capacity of 25 girls, Montazer Shabr said.

Currently, there are 130 boys aged 12 or above and 60 boys aged 12 or younger, he stated, IRNA reported.

Referring to the conditions of losing custody of a child, he explained that if the judicial authority recognizes that a parent or both are not qualified of taking care of their child, the court can deny custody, and grant the custody of the children to another parents.

He went on to say that the Welfare Organization is not acting a barrier toward child adoption, in fact the high number of applicants have decreased the process’s pace, adding, parents not having children or tending to adopt a child can refer to the website and sign up for adoption.

Applicants are then invited to ensure that they have the required qualifications, including being mentally healthy and not having criminal records or addiction, he stated, adding, the applicants also must have a decent job and proper income to afford the children’s needs.

After the parent’s qualifications are approved, they will be on the waiting list to adopt the child, he noted.
Single women aged 30 or above also can apply to foster a child, while families having no children are prioritized, he highlighted.

Darioush Bayatnejad, Tehran province’s welfare organization director, said that the child adoption process being piloted in Tehran through the website will speed up and it will be soon operational nationwide.

Currently, some 2,800 applicants are waiting for adoption, most of whom are parents not having children or intending to foster a child, he added.

Ahmad Khaki, deputy head of Tehran’s welfare organization for social affairs, said that the number of children adopted in Tehran increased by 25 percent in [the Iranian calendar] year 1396 (March 2017 – March 2018) compared to the year before, as some 500 children were adopted by Tehraners last year (ended March 2019).

According to the Welfare Organization, the country's adoption and foster laws which dated back to some 44 years ago were revised and modified in 2013. Within the new law kids could be adopted up to the age of 16 while the former law states that kids aged 12 or less could be adopted. In addition to families with no child now families with one kid and single women are able to apply for adoption.

The law formerly authorized adoption only for orphans while the new law permit adoption for children with dysfunctional families as well in case the judge concludes that the new family is suitable for adoption. 

Previously, the adoptive families were required to sign over one third of their property to their child-to-be but some could not afford to do so and now the judge gets to decide how a family, depending on their financial status, should be treated.

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