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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION

  • General information

     

    According to the applicable law, adoption issues are governed by the Family and Guardianship Code (Journal of Laws 1964, No. 9, item 59, as amended) and the Act on Family Facilitation and Foster Care of 9 June 2011 (Journal of Laws, No. 149, item 887, as amended). Additionally, both Poland and the United States have ratified the Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. The Convention outlines international procedures and imposes a wide range of legal requirements on the contracting states, one of which is a system of close co-operation in the best interests of the adopted child with respect for his or her fundamental rights. Pursuant to the law, the aim of the adoption is to create family conditions for the child who is not assisted by his or her biological parents. The process of adoption can take place provided that the following rules are being followed and complied with:

     

    • the child may be adopted before he or she attains the age of eighteen years;
    • the adoption shall be in the child’s best interests;
    • the adoption shall result in recognition of parent-child relationship (the adopted child shall enjoy rights and take on all the duties resulting from the relationship to the prospective adoptive parents’ relatives; thus, all the rights and duties resulting from the pre-existing legal parent-child relationship shall be terminated;
    • adoption based on a court decree shall be in permanent effect;
    • the fact of adoption shall be kept in secret from third parties: in all documents the child shall use the adoptive parents’ last name;
    • if the child attains the age of thirteen, a his or her consent for adoption shall be required;
    • the most common form of an adoption is the joint adoption by spouses, however, the adoption by a single person not being married or the adoption of a stepchild are also possible. As a principle, it is not possible to adopt a minor by one of the spouses without the consent of another spouse.
    • for an adoption process to take place legally, the adoptee’s biological parents shall grant a consent (except for cases in which parental rights are terminated, parents are unknown or communication with parents is ineffective);
    • the adopted child shall be given the adoptive parents’ last name; by the Court order the adopted child’s last name shall consist of his/her previous family name and the adoptive parents’ last name. The change of the adopted child’s first name is also possible;

    Polish family law calls for the principle of priority of the "in-country" adoption over the "intercountry" one. The intercountry adoption takes place when a Polish citizen under the age of 18 domiciled in the Republic of Poland is adopted by a person domiciled abroad and as a result the adopted child changes his/her place of residence. This rule does not apply when an adoptive parent is a relative to the child, or when an adoptive parent already adopted the child’s brother or sister. In such cases there is mandatory adjudication by the same criteria as applied when a motion for an adoption is filed by a person domiciled in Poland. The foreign adoption may take place only after exhaustion of all possibilities of finding for an adoptee a family in Poland.

     

     

    Procedures

     

    • The final decision on adoption is made by the Family Court which ensures that all the procedures were taken according to the provisions laid down in the Hague Convention. There are three adoption centers indicated by the Minister of Social Policy that are responsible for taking care of the procedures mentioned above. Currently in Poland such an authorization was granted to:

    1. Publiczny Ośrodek Adopcyjny, 02 – 018 Warszawa, ul. Nowogrodzka 75

    tel./fax 48 22 621-10-75 lub 48 22 622-03-70 do 72

    email: woa.warszawa@mcps.com.pl

     

    2. Krajowy Ośrodek Adopcyjny, TPD, 00 – 325 Warszawa, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 6

    tel. 48 22 425-46-77 lub 88, fax 011 48 22 827-78-13,

    email: koao-tpd@wp.pl

     

    3. Katolicki Ośrodek Adopcyjny, 04 – 357 Warszawa, ul. Grochowska 194/196

    tel./fax 48 22 818-54-30

    email: katolickiosrodek@interia.pl lub katolickiosrodek@adopcja.org

     

    All three agencies guarantee that the process of adoption is carried out properly. All agencies have their own Intercountry Adoption Committee, the responsibility of which is to qualify the prospective adoptive parents for the process of adoption. All foreign adoption organizations that are authorized by the individual governments may transfer information about candidates for adoptive parents only to those centers.

     

    The following documents translated by a licensed sworn translator into the official language of the child’s State of origin (original documents or certified copies) are required: 

     

    1. An application to the competent authorities in the child’s State of origin and prospective adoptive parents’ request to enroll them on the “pended families” list;

    2. Birth Certificates of prospective adoptive parents;

    3. Transcript of Marriage Certificate;

    4. Excerpt from National Criminal Register;

    5. Salary certificate;

    6. Citizenship certificate;

    7. Medical evaluation of the prospective adoptive parents;

    8. Home study of the prospective parents conducted by the authorized institution;

    9. The consent (with full name of the applicant on it) granted by the competent central authorities for the applicant to take further actions and bring the child to the country.

    Upon the request of a Court, other documents may be required.

     

    According to the  American law, the prospective adoptive parents must undergo such qualifying procedures in their state of residence, as if they wanted to adopt a child from the United States. These procedures involve, for example, allowing staff to complete a criminal history background check, collect fingerprints, conduct home study (including home visits and conversations with the prospective adoptive parents, their employers and neighbors). The prospective adoptive parents shall take up appropriate training courses as well. 

    The adoption process in the United States is carried out by the Adoption Service Providers (www.adoption.state.gov). Those agencies are responsible for taking care of immigration process of the adopted child. They also contact the  Polish adoption centers that  are authorized to handle intercountry adoptions.

    The aforementioned Polish adoption centers analyze submitted documents and present proposed children to the prospective parents. If the prospective parents accept the proposed child and then spend mandatory period of personal contact, immigration proceedings are initiated to issue a visa for the child. Additionally, the adoption proceedings before the Family Court in Poland are initiated as well. With the entry of the Polish Court’s judgment, the child is issued an American visa which (after entering the United States) is changed into American citizenship (no further proceedings are necessary).

     

    Upon the issuance of the court order, the appropriate Vital Statistic Office prepares the new birth certificate of a child, reflecting the changes in  names of an adoptee and his or her parents. The original birth certificate is sealed and kept confidential and cannot be released unless requested by the Court.

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