Hospitals plan organization to arrange adoptions
The Yomiuri Shimbun
September 8, 2013
Twenty hospitals and clinics in 14 prefectures were set to jointly establish an organization to arrange adoptions for free as part of efforts to promote a special adoption system for children younger than 6 years old.
Such adoptions are arranged mainly by private organizations, but some of them have been criticized for a lack of transparency in their operations after receiving large amounts of money from adopting couples.
The new organization, Anshin Haha to Ko no Sanfujinka Renraku Kyogikai (The liaison council of obestricians and gynecologists for safety of mothers and babies) is to begin operating Sunday.
Its director, Koji Samejima of Samejima Bonding Clinic in Saitama Prefecture, has been arranging adoptions for more than 20 years. He called on hospitals and obstetric and gynecological clinics to set up the new organization.
In response, 19 hospitals and other clinics agreed to join the organization. They include Fukuda Hospital in Kumamoto, which is known as the nation’s first hospital to arrange adoptions for free under the special adoption system.
“Special adoption” refers to the adoption of children younger than 6 by an unrelated married couple to form a legal parent-child relationship by authority of a court. The system started in 1988 with the amendment of the Civil Code.
The liaison council will base its head office at Samejima Bonding Clinic and provide consultations for women with unintended pregnancies.
After consulting with such women, it will introduce them to a hospital or clinic that belongs to the council and is located nearest their home.
The council said it will carefully confirm the wishes of the biological mothers because some of them might change their minds after delivering babies even if they earlier decided to give up the baby for adoption.
In arranging an adoption, the council will select a suitable couple from among those who have consulted at its head office and interview them there. The couple will then be interviewed at the hospital where the birth occurs.
After hearing opinions of a former child counseling center chief, among others, the head office will select a couple to adopt a child.
Couples applying to adopt will be required to receive training at a child counseling center and register to become adoptive parents.
The organization will offer special measures that only medical institutions can provide.
One is to have an adoptive mother stay at the hospital where the baby is born for several days to let her hold the baby on a birthing table as a simulated experience of giving birth. Then a birthing assistant and a nurse who took care of a biological mother and the baby are to teach adoptive mothers child rearing skills such as diaper changing.
Earlier this year, it was reported that two private organizations in Tokyo required adoptive parents in two different cases to pay ¥2 million each in commissions. The Tokyo metropolitan government is investigating the cases.
Hospitals and clinics that belong to the council will only receive actual costs such as the adoptive mothers’ hospitalization fees and biological mothers’ childbirth expenses if she cannot pay.