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Právo: Loophole in Czech law enables to ” buy” child

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Prague, April 14 (CTK) – A loophole in the Czech law enables to “buy” a child to avoid a lengthy adoption process, daily Pravo writes yesterday.
If another man is registered at the birth registry as the biological father of a child with the mother’s consent, he can later take the child in his care. This possibility may be chosen by the people (usually childless couples) who prefer paying the child’s mother for such a fraud to applying for adoption, which lasts long and the result is uncertain, Pravo says.
It refers to a recent case of a mother who sold her almost six-year-old son for 100,000 crowns, according to the court that dealt with this case on Tuesday.
The woman, 34, who is a drug addict and a thief, did not manage to look after the boy and this is why she sold him to a man, who was living alone and therefore could not adopt a child legally.
“The man was entered in the birth certificate as the father of the underage boy, and since then he has had him in his custody,” the court said.
The boy had no father stated in his birth certificate so the mother could agree with another man to register as such.
The woman was sentenced to 42 months in prison for the sale of her son, previous thefts and drug delicts, Pravo writes.
An expert in children’s legal protection has confirmed to Pravo that this was not an isolated case. However, such cases are hardly revealed.
“There are cases of elderly couples coming to pick up a baby directly in a maternity hospital. The man confesses to his ‘sin’ with the young woman who has just delivered a baby, he is registered in the birth certificate as the father and then he [together with his wife or partner] starts looking after the baby. These things do not happen for free, but it is very difficult to prove it,” the expert said.
The recent case of the boy’s sale was uncovered only by accident. His “new father” did not send the boy to school, and consequently social workers started to check the case.
Though both the man and the biological mother swore in court that they had not swapped the boy for money, the court did not trust them, Pravo writes.
Such frauds could be prevented if the birth registries were authorised to report suspicious cases to courts or social authorities, an expert, well versed in the case, told Pravo.
The paper also addressed several birth registry offices, asking about their procedure of entering fathers in birth certificates additionally.
“If we receive a positive statement by both parents, we register the father,” a brith registry employee told Pravo,
“It is not up to us to look into how it really is, though some couples raise doubts,”she added.
Pravo also asked the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry, which is in charge of children’s protection, for comments, but it did not react.
($1=23.923 crowns)

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