Law allows foreigners to adopt Turk children


ANKARA - Social services experts and psychologists have reacted positively to the new adoption arrangement in general, though some argue that cultural differences might create an adaptation problem depending on the child's age. Parliament has approved a law permitting foreigners to adopt Turkish children, hoping it provides a better future for kids

Law allows foreigners to adopt Turk children A new law enabling foreign nationals to adopt children from Turkey has garnered support from the experts.

Foreign nationals, including foreigners who live in Turkey and meet the criteria set by Turkish laws, will be able to adopt children from Turkey, according to the new law, which went into effect upon being published in the Official Gazette.

The new law seeks to benefit children and stipulates that Turkish families will be given priority when adopting. If families or individuals eligible cannot be found to adopt the child in Turkey, the children will be allowed to be adopted by foreigners. The procedures will be carried out by Turkey’s Social Services and Children Protection Institution, or SHÇEK.

Social services experts and psychologists have generally reacted positively to the new arrangement, but some argued that the cultural differences, depending on the age of the children, might create an adaptation problem in the new country. "Growing up in a new culture is of course likely to create some difficulty for the adopted. But it is a preferable situation for the adopted children to live amid a family atmosphere rather than being brought up by an institution," child psychologist Emine Öztürk K?l?ç told the Daily News.

Age of child important

"The age of the child is also important. Older children may face more problems such as learning a foreign language and adopting a new culture," K?l?ç said. "But it doesn't matter whether the family is Turkish or foreign. They should have a family." The adoptive parents must care and provide education for the child for at least one year before adoption, according to the new law. The adoptive parent must be at least 30 years of age; the child must spend one year with the adoptive parent under his/her care; the adoptive parents must be at least 18 years older than the adopted child; and the couple should be married for at least five years. The adopted child will become an heir of the adoptive parent.

Murat Altu?gil, president of the Social Workers Association in Ankara, said the most important thing was to seek the children’s benefit as defined in the international conventions on children. He said the cultural differences could potentially play a negative role in the adopted child’s integration into a new culture. "If the family meet the criteria, then there will be no serious problem. The important thing is to secure their integration to the society. Cultural differences depending on the age of the child may create some difficulty, but the adopted could face some adaptation problems near Turkish families as well," he said.

"The families are already well investigated. It is the least preferable choice to leave the child to be raised by an institution," he said, adding that investigating a foreign family or individual would not be a big problem as SHÇEK cooperates with international institutions. Psychologist Zuhal Yerlikaya said that if the language development started in the native country, the adopted child could face greater problem in learning the second language in the new country and adopting the new culture. "However, the ideal family approaches toward the children and circumstances for raising a child are universal. If these circumstances are secured, then it will not be a problem for the adopted whether it is a Turkish or foreign mother and father," she said. She also said the real problem would be the relationship between the adopted child and his/her biological family.


Civil code amendments to facilitate international adoption


November 9, 2007

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.”

and then...

Add the fun, thrills and excitement of international travel:  for some a vacation; for others the obsession to own yet another child to bring home for others to ooh and aah about.  The addiction to adopting overseas is deep-set in a lot of people whose lives are boring and unfulfilled.  Don't think for a moment that overseas adoption isn't very appealing and fun.  People mortgage their homes; save their income tax refunds and bonuses from work; plus the companies who pay up to $5,000.00 toward the adoptions after the child is home.  I've seen foreign adoptions done for free after all these deductions PLUS what they can take off next years tax forms...  FREE CHILDREN!   And now countries are trying to make it even easier.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

I drive a Ford

Don't think for a moment that overseas adoption isn't very appealing and fun.

I never really understood the appeal.  If I were to marry, divorce, give birth, undergo major medical treatment, or any other of life's major events (such as adopting a child), I would want to do so in familiar surroundings, in the company of family and friends, on my time-table, in my native language, and on my home turf.

Anyone who has had a car break down while out-of-state would prefer that it happened close to home.

Both our kids were in state care less than 100 miles from our home.  We had all the time in the world.  We had multiple weekend visits.  There were no cultural or language barriers to overcome - no legal or medical records to translate.

Perhaps that's not exotic enough for some - I dunno.  I drive a Ford.


Anyone who has had anything go wrong in Turkey

Anyone who has had anything go wrong with anything at all in Turkey probably wouldn't choose it as a country to adopt from. Mind you it is 20+ years since I was last there. I was told back then that it was one of the easiest countries to remove a child from for adoption elsewhere. Perhaps having some formal laws and regulations on international adoption is a step forward

a VW driver

not about my car

I don't have a car, but I do have an opinion. It's hard for me to find the regulations that have passed in Turkey over the last 20 years regarding international adoption, but it certainly was already regulated before this new law. Here is the information from the US state department with regards to Turkey:

FOR TURKISH ADOPTION CASES:  According to recent amendments to the Turkish Civil Code, Section 305, the adoptive parents must care and provide education for the child for at least one-year before an adoption can be finalized. To facilitate this one-year period, a Child Care Contract is signed between the prospective adoptive parents and the Director of Social Services & Child Protection Agency in the related city.  Under Turkish law, the Director of Social Services and Child Protection is the legal guardian of the child and remains the legal guardian until the adoption is finalized. 

A visa cannot be issued before the probation period is over since a final adoption hasn't completed yet and Turkish law doesn't allow the ch?ld to be taken out of the country for adoption during that period. 

So what the article probably fails to mention is that adoption from Turkey was already allowed, but given the restrictions not a very popular option for prospective adopters. New laws should make adoption from Turkey easier.

Now that Guatemala is closed, albeit temporarily; with China sending less and less children and South Korea in the process of stopping international adoption, new markets are being sought. Taiwan is picking up, especially for those couples that had their mind set on a Chinese child. Just yesterday Gladney announced they are expanding their business to Bulgaria. Not everyone wants to adopt from Ethiopia, even though it  has expanded to the point where we must question if the country can in fact handle the sheer number of adoptions happening there.

Turkey is espcially interesting since it has signed and ratified the Hague convention's trade agreement. Because of that all formalities have already been ironed out so setting up business in Turkey doesn't require that much investment. Besides Turkey is a nice holiday destinations too, so you get two for the price of one.


Part of great drama that went along with the "salvation of the adopted child", (me) was the story of difficult travel, as experienced by my amother.  When she told the story, she made sure others knew just how poor, just how out-dated, and just how raw Newfoundland, Canada was in her eyes.  In other words, she was not only willing to save a poor bastard child from institutional living, but she was willing to travel far and wide for the prize of a very young child, AND she was doing it so she could help save a child from unimaginable poverty and hard-living.  Listeners to her story are not told how she was robbed of the newborn experience with her first child (due to complications giving birth) and how that first child rendered her infertile.  Instead, people are led to believe her adoption-story was not about her, but all about me.

I was not quite 1 when I was put in their arms and put on a plane so I could "go home" to New Jersey.  I was told the exchange took place in a hotel lobby, and I cried the entire flight.  The rest is, as they say, history.  I have never been back to Newfoundland.  The closest I got to it was from a plane a few thousand miles up in the sky, on a return trip from Europe. 

It's disturbing, to me, to see how international adoption has become a great tourist-trap for so many AP's.  It's not just buying a child, it's buying toys and clothes and gifts from the locals.  It's staying at hotels, eating at restaurants and visiting places no one in their right mind wants to see.   It's feeding a country that says it can't take care of it's own children, but can offer all sorts of mementos and amenities for travelers with money, including child prostitutes, if needed.

I think there are many PAP's who think it's exotic and exciting to fly to another country.  I think part of the appeal is the entertaining stories such a visit can offer other people.   I imagine many AP's come home with stories that go a little like,  "We saw ____ and had to do ______, and we never saw or experienced anything like that before -- it was AMAZING!"  [It's not surprising then, to learn through the blog-circuit, many AP's are offering PAP's money-collections so they too can have such a joyful adoption experience.]

With all of this travel excitement and rushed activity taking place, it makes perfect sense why many Amother's return home from such an experience feeling blue, even though they have "the child they really wanted".  Some relate this sadness to post-partum depression; I tend to liken this post adoption sadness to a more common feeling many people experience when they realize "the honeymoon" is over.... it stinks when the fun romance gets replaced with every-day problems and real-life reality.... especially if you find out the ones you trusted turned out to be lying thiefs.

the getting there...

Part of the appeal was being accepted by two countries to adopt; planning and taking a trip like no-other.  It was a rush from first glimpse of the child in the magazine...  Sharing this experience with the church, the community and each other was invigorating.  I felt special.  I felt like I was doing something not many could or would do.  I was in search of a family.  I didn't have a family, just people who rejected me.
Doing the paperwork was mind-boggling at time, and very fulfilling to accomplish this difficult task.  The one person I wanted to love me and accept me just stood by and provided the money while I did it all.  He did nothing...
Let me point out that the governments overseas CAN be bought; but they also are convinced that they are doing a good job.  They do have rules and processes; yet the people of the country have learned how to by-pass most of it because that's the culture: do what you have to do to get what you want.  Americans just don't understand this.
I've waited hours in an Embassy while the Baptist Missionary/adoption go-between took the baby to get his foot print on the visa; not forgetting to put the $50.00 inside the visa booklet.    I've gone before foreign officials and poured my heart out because I was missing an I 171-H paper and had come a million miles to hand deliver my dossier.  And for them accepting that dossier and giving me 2 months to deliver the I 171-H, I was told to buy him an expensive bottle of whiskey.  And the two little baby boys that became mine are worth every single second of that  three months (each) it took to get them home.  I think I would have waded through fire for them. 

Kerry said:
"it stinks when the fun romance gets replaced with every-day problems and real-life reality.... especially if you find out the ones you trusted turned out to be lying thieves."
When I realized they were lying thieves with my second adoption, I was shocked.  I had a very hard first year; bonding was difficult (being the second child and so close together), but the bond that came is so solid and sacred that even remembering the hard time we had at first is nothing compared to the amazing 20 year old who is my second son.
It's not all wrong and bad.  But the things that are wrong and bad are definitely VERY wrong and VERY bad.  I relish the good and rightness, and grieve over the stuff that went wrong and was wrong.
For me, having been a foster parent to 12 children and knowing the harsh reality of how much abuse Americans can inflict on their own flesh and blood...  to me, adopting in my own state was a horror I just could not fathom.  And I realize that others look at my adoptions and shake their heads, too. 
Overseas adoptions seem very glamorous to some people.  And then, some of us really did want a family and the trip was just a perk.  I remember flying to Washington and waiting for the flight to Korea; my son was 5 and we were going to go and see Korea and his foster mother.  There was another family with two Korean children (about 9 & 11) standing around and waiting, too.  I went up to them and smiled BIG at finding another family like mine.  They completely ignored me and were very, very rude.  In Seoul, we ran into them once, and it was the same response.  This was THEIR trip and no one was going to be allowed to share in it.  I became aware that not all adoptive families were nice; some just wanted the experiences it brought for them alone....
I'm going to court today... the last time.  I'm going this journey alone because one of us was only playing a game while the other one wanted a family.   Adoption is not a game. 
Pray for Teddy....

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

On the receiving-end

While I can appreciate the love and bond you have developed for your children, it should be noted not all adoptees are glad their adoptive parents went to "so much trouble", or did the things they did to or for a child.  I'm suddenly reminded of the "Martyr Mother" mentality I had to live with, and to this day that sort of attitude STILL sickens me.

I'd like to bring back a point "Dad" made in the following statement:

Both our kids were in state care less than 100 miles from our home.  We had all the time in the world.  We had multiple weekend visits.  There were no cultural or language barriers to overcome - no legal or medical records to translate.

These are very important facts that should not be ignored or denied and these are realities not experienced by those separated by huge oceans and great bodies of land.    Too much can go wrong even in the "best" of fostering/adopting circumstances... why add more walls and barriers (and increase the chance/opportunity for lies and corruption) to something that IS a life-long decision?

that's right...

"it should be noted not all adoptees are glad their adoptive parents went to "so much trouble", or did the things they did to or for a child. "
That's right, Kerry; I have three adopted children who probably rue the day I decided to adopt them.  Their life is hell...  and it is my fault.  I was selfish and egotistical in thinking I could make-it-right for everyone.  I couldn't. 
I'm sorry I sickened you, Kerry.  There was no martyrdom in what I did.  I did what I did, for me, and no one else.  I ruined several peoples lives by not thinking it through. 
I do like to see the good there is in my family; and yet I grieve for the ones it is not good for...  Sometimes I can hardly believe what I did.  I am one of the very ones I complain about, now. 
And having gone to court today; and having it turn our very positive, all I can do is go forward and try my best to help the ones who were damaged by their adoptions into our family.  I can't change the past, but I can strive to do better from now on.
My daughter wrote the judge.  This judge was so impressed that she overruled the country attorney's attempt to stifle my daughter's attempt to right a wrong. 
Dad's adoptions went well because of his ability to think it through; having a wife to work with; keeping what is best for the kids in mind...  while I only got greedy and became addicted to overseas adoptions that were easy.  I see the difference.
We were lied to and our money was taken, in exchange for a life; no thought as to what was right or wrong.  No martyr here.  Just thoughtless greed that wanted more.  It has been a hard lesson to learn.
Teddy did do wrong...

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

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