Ministry bans release of info on kids free for adoption

February 11, 2010 / praguemonitor

Prague, Feb 10 (CTK) - Photos and personal data of children who are legally free for adoption and for whom adoptive or foster families are being sought can no longer be published on the Internet since the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry has called such practices inadmissible, ministry spokeswoman told CTK Thursday.

In cooperation with the ombudsman and the Office for Personal Data Protection (UOOU), the ministry has specified conditions for releasing information about such children, the spokeswoman, Viktorie Plivova, said.

"The [ministry's] position is binding on all entities that are authorised to seek potential foster and adoptive parents and who mediate the [placing of kids in] new families," Plivova said.

She said the ministry reacts to inappropriate presentation methods that have made the sensitive information accessible to a part of the public that is not authorised to interfere in the procedure of searching for foster families.

Some entities have released the information on the Internet in an effort to attract potential foster families.

However, the ministry says putting the information on the web makes people erroneously believe that anyone can pick any child on the Internet or in the press and apply for the kid to be entrusted to him/her as an adoptive or foster parent.

People's reactions to the information have been often based on their momentous emotional constellation.

"Spreading of information about children who do not grow up in their own families on the web, in the press or other media has an irreversible and negative impact on their privacy and can harm them for the rest of their lives," Miloslav Macela, head of the ministry's department for family and welfare systems, said to explain the position issued by the ministry.

Marie Vodickova, chairwoman of the Fund of Endangered Children, that has come under criticism in this connection, on Wednesday indicated that putting a child's data and photo on the Internet helps increase his/her chance of being placed with a new family.

A child has the right not only to privacy but also to a family. The question is which of the two rights is more important, Vodickova said in reaction to deputy ombudsman's statement that the Fund's practice runs counter to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.


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