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Law allows foreigners to adopt Turk children

from: hurriyet.com.tr

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.