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This blog is about everything related to adoption. It is written in Hungarian, and mostly talks about adoption within Hungary. It covers various topics: experiences of adoptive parents, interviews with experts, peculiarities of the administrative regulations and process, etc. Even if you don’t speak Hungarian, you can get an overall feeling about the blog by using Google Translator.
Are you a foreign citizen considering adoption from Hungary?
If you live in Hungary, the same rules apply to you as to Hungarian citizens. You have to start the process by registering at your Regional Child Protection Service (Tegyesz).
If you live abroad, and wish to adopt a Hungarian child, the following rules apply:
Only citizens of the following countries are eligible to adopt from Hungary:
- United States of America
As a general rule, you must be eligible to adopt in your own country. The next step is to find an adoption agency or organization.
During the adoption process itself, families must be prepared to stay 35-50 days in Hungary to complete the process.
Children available for adoption by foreign citizens typically have one or more of the following characteristics:
- children older than 6 years
- children with special needs
- sibling groups of 2-3-4 children
- children of Roma (Gipsy) origin
Generally, there is no chance to adopt healthy children who are younger than 4-5 years.
There are about 100 and 200 adoptions yearly, that take place from Hungary to a foreign country.
The adoption must fit the Hungarian rules:
Adoptive parents must be at least 16 years older than their adoptive child, but not more than 45 years older.
The age difference is calculated based on the age of the younger adoptive parent.
If the couple already have children, the adopted child must be younger than them. Both married couples and single people can apply, but couples are preferred.
The adoption must fit the local adoption rules of your country or state as well.
The cost of the adoption may be between 20.000 and 40.000 USD.
More information by country:
Blogs of American families, who have adopted Hungarian children: orokbe.hu/2014/08/25/magyar-gyerekek-amerikaban/
ADOPTION SYSTEM IN HUNGARY
1000 adoptions per year
- 130 stepparent adoption
- 100-150 open adoption by NGO’s (newborn infants)
- 600-800 closed adoptions from which
– 40-60 by former foster parent
– 450-500 by Hungarian families
– 200-250 international (Italy, Spain, US, Norway, Netherlands)
21 500 children live in foster care and residential homes
Requirements for adoption
- Married couples are preferred. Singles may only adopt the children who are not wanted by couples
- at most 45 years older than the child (if the child is older than 3 years, the age difference may be in several cases even 50 years)
- at least 2 years age difference between the children
- siblings allowed to be adopted together
- a child can go abroad, if no domestic applicant is found
- foreign citizens living in Hungary may apply for the domestic adoption. If you live abroad, and wish to adopt a Hungarian child, read this: https://orokbe.hu/minden-mas/english/
- “We search the ideal parent for the child, not the ideal child for the parents”
Strict rules for the children eligible for adoption
- placed in a baby-box (3-10 children per year)
- birth parents gave up for adoption: open (150-200) and closed (150)
- death of parents (10)
- parents did not show up for 6 months (260)
- court terminated parental rights (70)
Society problems in the background: extreme poverty
Application for adoption: 3500 prospective parents waiting at a time
The usual reason for adoption is infertility. Adoption for charity is rare.
- psychological examination
- medical examination
- home study
- salary check
- preparation course for prospective parents (40 hours) – not compulsory, but suggested. Main message: the child must know from a young age that she is adopted!
Failing the process is really rare, but the waiting time for the child can be long. Average waiting time: 3-4 years (strongly depends on the age, health etc. of the child wanted and the parent’s situation)
Most wanted: healthy infants with white skin. Girls are preferred to boys.
Not really wanted: older children, children with disabilities, roma/gipsy origin, larger sibling groups
Children with no chance to adopt (even internationally): children over 10 years, children with multiple disabilities, sibling groups with 4-5 or more children.
The adoption process is practically free.
- state system for closed adoptions, a team chooses from the list of applicants
- open adoption: 9 NGO’s with their own waiting list and criteria
Children wait too long before the adoption, specially older and not-so-wanted children (roma boys over 2-3 years)
Forming a new family: a bonding process takes place – one to several weeks (older children usually live in foster care, rarely in residential home).
The adoption becomes official one month after taking the child home.
Compulsory follow-up for one and a half year (2 times)
Clubs and organizations exist for adoptive parents, as well as for adult adoptees.
Adult adoptees are allowed to seek for their birth parents and siblings officially with the help of the custodian office. Birth parents may not search. But the internet makes it quicker.
Terminating the adoption is possible through court, yearly 5-20 cases, but the rate of unsuccessful adoptions is higher.
Social acceptance for adoption
Still regarded as a peculiarity.
Prejudices, stereotypes about adoptive parents and birth parents.
Bad experiences in the previous generations: secrets and lies. (Preparation course is obligatory only for the last 12 years, before that adoption was kept a secret in front of the children.)
Adoption is not part of the teacher’s curriculum, hard to deal with in school situations.
Being a birth mother is a taboo, no official help exists for them.
Zsuzsa Mártonffy, https://orokbe.hu/