We’ve just come across a recent report by Olga Borzova which looks at developing policy guidelines for member States in the EU, on how to avoid practices deemed abusive in the context of adoption. This includes severing family ties completely, removing children from parental care at birth, basing placement decisions on the passage of time, and having recourse to adoptions without parental consent, or forced adoption as it is sometimes controversially termed.
We have not yet had a chance to read the 16 page report, but we wanted to share it with you straight away. We have though, had a glance at some of the recommendations and we think they are superb.
A piece on the Parliamentary Assembly’s website gives a good summary of what Ms Borzova’s report focuses on and the balancing of issues she recommends when making decisions relating to adoption. We’ve reproduced the piece for you below, but you can also access it on the Assembly’s site here:
“Children have the right to be protected from all types of violence, abuse and neglect. But children also have the right not to be separated from their parents against their will, except when the competent authorities determine that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child,” Olga Borzova (Russia, NR) says in her report, adopted yesterday by PACE’s Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development.
The report looks at the thorny issue of taking the right decision about when to remove a child from his or her family. “Sometimes, children are removed from their families for the wrong reasons, for example because their parents are too poor to feed or house properly,” Ms Borzova said. “Sometimes, however, children are not removed from their families in time, or are returned too early, with tragic consequences.”
According to the committee, the solution lies in putting the best interest of the child first when the initial decision is taken – usually by social services – to remove a child from his or her birth family. The report recommends the development of policy guidelines for member States on how to avoid practices deemed abusive in this context, such as severing family ties completely, removing children from parental care at birth, basing placement decisions on the passage of time, and having recourse to adoptions without parental consent.
“If we manage to ensure that these recommendations are put into practice, we will have made a big step towards putting into place social services, laws, regulations and practices which truly put the best interest of the child first in removal, placement and reunification decisions – to the benefit of all children,” Ms Borzova concluded.
The report will be debated at the PACE Spring plenary session in April 2015.
A big thank you to Rough Rabbit for alerting us to this report.