MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
ORDER No.LS-04-1754/ 6 Nov. 2014
Based on Art.112, par.6 of the Family Code, in relation with Art.40, par.2 of Ordinance No.3 for the terms and conditions for keeping the registers of intercountry adoptions and for granting consent by the Minister of Justice
THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR PROVIDING, GATHERING AND USING INFORMATION ABOUT CHILDREN, FOR WHOM SPECIAL MEASURES FOR ADOPTION HAVE BEEN UNDERTAKEN, AND FOR SUBMITTING ADOPTERS’ APPLICATIONS AND DOCUMENTS
1. General provisions
1.1. The special measures for the adoption of children shall be implemented with the active cooperation of the organizations accredited under Art. 116 of the Family Code (FC) and the foreign accredited organizations that have obtained permission for intermediation of intercountry adoptions from Bulgaria, which shall undertake the necessary actions for researching the specifics of the children, consulting and preparing the candidate-adopters for the purposes of satisfying the needs of the particular children.
1.2. The organizations as per clause 1.1 shall perform all actions for the sole purpose of the adoption of the child and the securing of the child’s best interests while complying with the requirements for personal data protection as stated in the legislation of the respective country. It is inadmissible to publish information and/or materials about a child on the internet, without the access to those being controlled by the accredited foreign organization they were provided to.
1.3. The organizations as per clause 1.1 shall undertake the necessary actions for the cessation of the use and dissemination of the information about the child and returning the information to the Ministry of Justice in case of occurrence of the grounds under Art.40, par.4 of Ordinance No.3/ 24 Oct.2014.
2. Publication of information about children
2.1. The Directorate of International Legal Child Protection and Intercountry Adoptions shall prepare a profile to be published on the website of the Ministry of Justice for each child for whom the Intercountry Adoption Council has ascertained that the circumstances under Art.112, par.6 of the FC have occurred. The profile contains: date of birth; gender; health condition and information about where the child is placed.
2.2. The order of publishing the profiles of the children shall be correspondent to the sequence of their inscription in the Register under Art.113, par.1, clause 1 of the FC.
2.3. Each month a list of the following shall be published on the website of the Ministry of Justice:
1) the profiles of the children for whom the Council has ascertained that the circumstances under Art.112, par.6 of the FC have occurred in the last month;
2) the profiles of the children published in the previous months for whom adoptive parents need to be found.
3. Requirements towards the organizations
3.1. An organization accredited under Art.116 of the FC, which would like to participate in the implementation of the special measures for the adoption of children, should submit a written application under its accreditation file number. The following documents should be enclosed to the application:
a) a notarized declaration from the representative of the organization stating that the additional information received and/or gathered about each child shall be used for the sole purpose of the adoption, in compliance with the requirements for personal data protection;
b) a list of the foreign accredited organizations, to which information about the children will be provided;
3.2. Within a one-month deadline following the submission of the application under clause 3.1, the organization accredited under Art.116 of the FC shall submit a notarized declaration under letter “a” from the representative of each foreign accredited organization included in the list as per letter “b”. A certified copy of the permission for intermediation in intercountry adoptions from Bulgaria shall be enclosed to the declaration, as well as information about the way of recruiting adopters, including with regards to the requirement under clause 1.2.The documents shall be presented in the form stated in Art.10, par.8 of Ordinance No.3/ 24 Oct.2014.
3.3. The organization accredited under Art.116 of the FC is not entitled to provide additional information about children to a foreign accredited organization before fulfilling the requirements as per the previous paragraphs.
4. Terms for providing, gathering and using the additional information about a child, whose profile has been published on the website of the Ministry of Justice
4.1. Regardless of whether a child’s profile is published for the first time or has been published in a previous month, the additional information about the child shall be provided only after conducting the allocation of profiles between the organizations accredited under Art.116 of the FC.
4.2. The allocation is conducted at the Directorate of International Legal Child Protection and Intercountry Adoptions, no sooner than 3 days after the publication of the children’s profiles.
4.3. In order to participate in the allocation, an application is submitted by e-mail to the Social Services Department of the Directorate of International Legal Child Protection and Intercountry Adoptions, by organizations which had fulfilled their obligations under clause 3.
4.4. The attending representatives of the organizations accredited under Art.116 of the FC, draw a lot number randomly and pick profiles based on it.The representative who pulls number 1 is the first to choose one of the new or available profiles. Subsequently, number 2 chooses a profile, etc. This continues until the participants do not wish to take any more profiles or until all the children’s profiles have been allocated.
4.5. Each organization accredited under Art. 116 of the FC is provided with the opportunity to request up to 20 profiles of children. The number of children is revised on the 24th day of every month. Siblings, who are to be placed in one adoptive family, are not considered separate profiles.
4.6. A protocol is prepared with regards to each allocation. It is signed by all the participants present and a copy of it is provided to each of them. The conducted allocation is reported to the competent Deputy Minister within 3 days after it has been held.
4.7. The organizations accredited under Art.116 of the Family Code submit applications for obtaining additional information about the children, whose profiles they have requested at the allocation, by the end of the day following the allocation. The application is registered in the registration office at the Ministry of Justice under a new reference number 16-08- sequential digit. Failure to submit an application within the indicated deadline is considered rejection of the choice made.
4.8. The applications are processed by the Directorate of International Legal Child Protection and Intercountry Adoptions within a 7-day period. The information about the children is provided to the organizations on a portable memory device on the day following the expiration of the deadline for processing. The two-month deadline under Art.40, par.4 of Ordinance No.3/ 24 Oct.2014 starts from the day the information is provided. Failure to appear so as to receive the information within the indicated deadline is considered rejection of the choice made.
4.9. Within the deadline under Art.40, par.4 of Ordinance No.3/ 24 Oct.2014, the organization accredited under Art.116 of the Family Code is obliged to make every effort so as to study the particular specifics of the children in a precise manner based on the information provided by the Ministry of Justice and/or by gathering additional information - making photos and/or videos; filling in questionnaires; organizing consultations, etc. Provided that the organization collects additional information, the latter has to include: not less than 5 full – length photos of the child and/or video material showing how the child performs usual activities in his/her environment and lasting no less than 3 minutes; questionnaires about the child’s neuropsychological development and the specifics in his/her behavior; results from consultations held with doctors and/or other specialists.
4.10. The organization accredited under Art.116 of the Family Code shall submit a written request for collecting additional information about the child/children to the Ministry of Justice. The Directorate of International Legal Child Protection and Intercountry Adoptions prepares a letter to the organization which lists the children for whom the organization is authorized to gather additional information, the location where they are placed, as well as the period in which the organization is entitled to work with the profiles. Based on the received letter, the organization establishes contact with the persons, with whom the children are placed, and organizes their visits.
4.11. It is mandatory that additional information, as described in clause 4.9, is collected about each child whose profile is published for the first time.
4.12. When additional information has been collected about a child, updated information about that child is not to be collected by the time 4 months pass from the date of collecting the earlier information. The Ministry of Justice evaluates the necessity of subsequent collection of additional information, in accordance with the specifics of the child.
5. Submission of petitions and adopters’ documents
5.1. After the two-month deadline as per Art.40, par.4 of Ordinance No.3/ 24 Oct.2014 expires, the organization accredited under Art.116 of the Family Code shall present to the Ministry of Justice an application from an adopter for the adoption of a specific child, with whose profile the organization has been working, or the organization shall return all the information gathered about the child.
5.2. As of the 24th day of each month all children’s profiles for whom the two-month deadline has expired and no application from an adopter has been submitted, are considered available. The organization accredited under Art.116 of the Family Code may return the information about a child before the expiration of the two-month deadline, but no earlier than one month after having received the information as per clause 4.8.
5.3. By the time the deadline under Art.40, par.4 of Ordinance No.3/ 24 Oct.2014 expires, applications from adopters, represented by another organization accredited under Art.116 of the Family Code, are not to be considered. Such applications shall be reviewed if within the deadline no application from an adopter, represented by the organization working with the child’s profile, has been submitted.
5.4. The documents under Art.42, par.3 shall be presented to the Ministry of Justice within six months following the approval of an adopter’s application under Art.42 of Ordinance No.3/ 24 Oct. 2014. In case that not all documents have been presented, but a social report correspondent to the child’s profile has been submitted, the adopter may be given an additional deadline of up to three months.
5.5. The documents under Art.43, par.3 shall be presented to the Ministry of Justice within one month following the approval of an adopter’s application under Art.43 of Ordinance No.3 / 24 Oct.2014. The documents under Art.43, par.5 shall be presented within six months following the approval of the application.
5.6. In case of withdrawal of an approved application under Art.42 or Art.43 of Ordinance No.3 / 24 Oct.2014 on behalf of the adopter or the accredited foreign organization, or in case of refusal to adopt a child, the child’s profile shall be published again on the website of the Ministry, and the organization shall return the information about the child immediately and shall stop working with the child’s profile.
The order shall be published on the website of the Ministry of Justice.
Minister of Justice: illegible signature
Seal: Ministry of Justice, the Republic of Bulgaria
Link to the text of the Order in Bulgarian: mjs.bg/35/