Adoption under Cypriot Law
Adoption under Cypriot Law:
The governing authority on matters of adoption in Cyprus is the Cypriot Adoption Authority found under the umbrella o the Social Welfare Services of the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance. According to legislation, the Social Welfare Services aim to safeguard the best interests and rights of children, before and after the adoption takes place.
The Social Welfare Services΄ main responsibilities during the adoption process are:
- To investigate whether an individual or a family are eligible to become adoptive parents.
- To safeguard the best interests of children as soon as the application for adoption is submitted to the Court.
- To submit to the Court a report indicating whether the adoption is in the best interests of a child.
- To act as a temporary guardian to a child and to submit to the Court the report in order to issue the adoption order.
- Post adoption counseling.
The majority of adoptive families in Cyprus adopt children from overseas since there are not many children in Cyprus who are looking for an adoptive family.
The Convention for the Protection of Children and for Cooperation regarding Intercountry Adoption Law 1994, regulates for Intercountry Adoptions between Cyprus and the countries who have ratify it.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance is the competent authority of the Republic of Cyprus authorized to implement the Convention for the Protection of Children. The Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance has entrusted the Social Welfare Services the power and responsibilities to handle the Intercountry adoptions that take place according to the provisions of the Convention.
- Intercountry adoptions between Cyprus and other countries for which the Convention does not apply.
- Scheme for the provision of financial assistance to couples of low-income who are interested on Intercountry Adoptions.
Intercountry Adoptions – Intercountry Adoptions between Cyprus and countries for which the Convention does not apply.
Sometimes Cypriot couples may apply for adoption to countries where the Convention for the Protection of Children and for Cooperation regarding Intercountry Adoptions, does not apply.
In cases where the convention does not apply these countries will usually request from the Social Welfare Services, as the competent Authority, reports on the eligibility of the families who have applied for adoption. The policy of the Social Welfare Services is to provide the relevant information, should the request come from the competent State Authorities of the countries, or from their Embassies in Cyprus.
Currently, Cypriot law only recognizes adoption from opposite sex couples. There is still ambiguity in the sphere as to whether same-sex couples would eventually be able to adopt under the civil partnership legislation. However, the civil partnership bill did not include provisions regulating child adoptions. Therefore, adoption from same-sex couples would only be dealt with by a change in adoption law.