Thursday, 24 April 2014

Právo: Czech Romani orphans preferred abroad, rejected at home

25 September 2013

Prague, Sept 24 (CTK) - Romany orphans find foster parents with many more difficulties in the Czech Republic than abroad, daily Pravo writes yesterday.

There are no problems with the upbringing of Czech Romanies abroad. In foreign countries, mainly Germany, Italy, Sweden and Denmark, tens of them are adopted annually, Pravo writes.

In the past years, hundreds of Czech Romany children found new families in Western countries, it adds.

However, due to the obsolete system and prejudices in the Czech Republic, Romany children face many difficulties, Pravo writes.

"Unlike Czech applicants, the UMPOD has never come across any foreign applicants for adoption raising any demands relating to the child's ethnic origin," Zdenek Kapitan, director of the Office for International Legal Protection of Children (UMPOD), told the paper.

The UMPOD is in charge of substitute family care abroad, internationally acknowledged as the best or less harmful than institutional care, so widespread in the Czech Republic, Pravo writes.

The UMPOD is responsible for the adoption of over 40 children abroad annually, it adds.

Although ethnic origin is not officially recorded, Romany children constitute the crushing majority of them, Pravo writes.

The success rate of foreign adoption of 99.3 percent, it adds.

This means that the children stay in the new families, Pravo writes.

"Czech society is full of prejudices, but this circumstance is not the only reason of why the children fall through the system down to foreign adoptions," Kapitan said.

"Neither from my personal experience nor from the development reports can I infer that racial prejudices have become a source of unmanageable problems for adoptive families abroad," he added.

In the society with a great deal of established prejudices, it is a "tremendously difficult task" to adopt a Romany child and to accept it for foster care, Kapitan said.

The substitute parents deserve great respect, he added.

Kapitan said the systems in Western countries work with the prevention of problematic behaviour of children in the way that they do not have to leave their biological parents at all.

As a result, the local childless families stand a very little chance of adopting a child and they pin their hopes on the East, Kapitan said.

In the EU, only postcommunist countries offer for adoption abroad more children than they accept, Kapitan said, adding that the Czech Republic still had the best position among them.

Nevertheless, "being a recipient state that adopts children is a sign of civilised level," he added.

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