Child Protection

Special Protection

Prevention of Child Abuse


Child Adoption

© UNICEF/DR/2007/R. Piantini

Adoption is a legal institution of public order and social interest that allows for the creation, through a sentence issued to this effect, of a voluntary family link between people who do not possess it by nature.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child clearly establishes that every child has the right to know his parents, and, if possible, to be raised by them.

In keeping with this, and taking into account the value and importance of the family in children’s lives, UNICEF states that families in need of support in order to care for their children should receive this, and that substitutes for child care should only be considered when, despite this support, these children’s families are not available or willing to look after them, or are not capable of doing so.

UNICEF maintains that every decision that affects a girl or boy – including decisions about their adoption – must take their greater interest into account.The Hague Convention on International Adoption constitutes important progress on the issue, for families as well as children who are adopted or up for adoption, because it promotes transparency and ethical correctness of the processes, with the aim of making children’s greater interests a priority. UNICEF calls on national governments to guarantee the protection of each and every boy and girl during the period of transition leading up to the entry into effect of The Hague Convention. ( the fact that the issue of adoption is seldom discussed in society, adoption processes are under way on a daily basis, and this is a process that needs care and requires analysis with the aim of preserving the well-being of the adoptee.

When discussing adoption, we are referring to children who for exceptional reasons go on to become the sons and daughters of other mothers and fathers who are not their biological parents.

Adoption in the Dominican Republic

Due to the fact that it is considered to be a very special and delicate process, States have the responsibility of creating the necessary mechanisms to prevent adoption from being used indiscriminately. It is for this reason that the Dominican State, through the Code for the System of Protection of Children and Young People (Law 136-03) has set up the required procedures to ensure transparency and rigour of this important legal area, which consists of two stages: the first being administrative and the second Judicial. The administrative procedure needs to be channelled through the Adoptions Department at the National Council for Children and Young People (CONANI), while the judicial phase comes under the Children and Youth Tribunals.

According to article 122 of the above-mentioned law the following may be adopted: minors who have been orphaned due to the deaths of both parents; children whose parentage is unknown and are under the care of the State; children whose parents have been deprived of custody by law; and children whose parents consent to adoption.

Requisites for Adoption

The criteria that should prevail at the point of putting up a minor for adoption should be to find the best family for that girl or boy. This is why families that apply need to fulfil the requisites set out in articles 117-120 of the above-mentioned law. In addition, they need to have the documents listed in article 140 of this law and fulfil some of the requisites prior to obtaining the documentation.

In addition to the requisites and documents required by article 140, foreign applicants need to comply with the requirements set out in articles 164, 165 and 166. CONANI has registered two cases where the privilliged adoption has been annulled.

“Both cases were international adoptions. In one case the girl who was adopted could not adapt and when it became evident that the minor’s emotional welfare was being affected she was returned to her biological parents,” said Rodríguez.

“In the second case, the parents, after having granted consent for putting up their child for adoption, retracted it and asked for the adoption to be annulled, and the competent tribunal for minors proceeded to order the child’s return to his parents”, admitted Rodríguez.

Julio Rodriguez, Deputy Legal Advisor at CONANI explained that since August 2006 CONANI has registered 104 adoptions of children. Of this total, 22 were referred by the State andthe remaining 82 were put up for Adoption by their parents or guardians

Rodríguez said that minors with physical disabilities were the most difficult to place with adoptive families.

By: Loreta Acevedo
With contributions from: D. López




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