Civil code amendments to facilitate international adoption
Minister for Women and Family Affairs Nimet Çubukçu announced on Wednesday that Parliament is working to amend the civil code’s provisions regarding child adoption with the objective of facilitating the process for foreign parents.
Noting that the provisions included in the Turkish Civil Code prolong the legal process for child adoption, Çubukçu indicated that more than 2,000 parents are waiting to adopt a child from state-run orphanages. “The Turkish Civil Code requires that adoptive parents care and provide education for the child for at least one year before an adoption can be finalized. Parliament has taken action to facilitate child adoption by foreign parents. A ‘child care contract’ will be signed between the prospective adoptive parents and the Social Services and Child Protection Agency (SHÇEK) director in related cities which will signify their knowledge and agreement to the aforementioned provisions.” The current civil code and SHÇEK requires that the adoptive parent be at least 35 years old, and the adoptive parent and child must have at least 18 years of age difference. The adoptive parent must not already have a child and married couples may jointly adopt a child. If only one of the pair adopts the child, the other must give their consent. Çubukçu stated that a prospective amendment in related provisions will relax the requirements for child adoption by foreign parents. “According to current rules and regulations, Turkish families are given preference in adoption of children between the ages 0 to 6; SHÇEK requires that at least one of the adoptive parents be a Turkish citizen to adopt an orphan over the age of 3. We aim at easing such conditions and allowing foreign parents to adopt a child without requiring them to know Turkish for the adoption of an orphan over the age of 3. Foreigners who reside in Turkey but have not acquired Turkish citizenship will also be given the opportunity to adopt.”