Denmark could ease laws on forced adoption

A new government proposal could ease the path for authorities to force adoption of children whose parents are not deemed able to take charge of their care.

Denmark could ease laws on forced adoption
Minister for Children and Social Affairs Mai Mercado. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Under current rules, very few situations can result in parents being required by law to give up their children for adoption.

But proposed new rules would make the option an easier one for authorities to take, newspaper Berlingske reports.

Forced adoptions could occur in cases in which parents are not deemed able to continue as guardians, the newspaper writes.

The proposal, which was scheduled for parliamentary procedure on Tuesday, was tabled by Minister for Children and Social Affairs Mai Mercado. The minister said she wants an easier process for authorities taking the measure of forced adoption.

“This is all with the child’s interest foremost,” she told Berlingske.

Several stages of the forced adoption procedure will be removed in order that cases can be processed more quickly, according to the report.

The State Administration (Statsforvaltningen) and the Social Appeals Board (Ankestyrelsen) are normally required to make decisions on cases involving forced adoption. The decision would be transferred solely to the latter authority under the government bill.

Additionally, new rules will enable children to be placed directly into a pre-approved adoptive family. Currently, foster care is required until a decision has been reached in ongoing cases.

The proposal is likely to receive broad support in parliament, according to Berlingske, even though the government’s conservative ally, the Danish People’s Party, opposes it.

Since 2015, municipalities have applied for 22 children to be adopted without the consent of parents. The Social Appeals Board approved 16 of those cases.

Mercado noted to Berlingske that the criteria for forced adoption would not be changed under the new rules.

READ ALSO: New political deal changes conditions for children of divorcees

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