New draft bill on adoptions and foster parenting to be discussed in committee on Wed.

The new draft bill on foster care and adoption that will be discussed in committee on Wednesday hopes to reduce the long wait for adoptions to one year at most, from the current maximum six, Labor, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity sources clarified on Friday.

The ministry sources attributed the long wait of couples for adoption or foster parenting to a lack of staff for background checks. The services, they said, could be delegated to other agencies and social workers.

In addition, the process will be specific and digitized under three digital registries: one of each child, and one each for future foster and adoptive parents under consideration and under approval. A new central agency will coordinate the process and protect a child’s rights, the ministry said.

According to the draft bill, couples that have signed a partnership agreement will not be eligible to adopt, but may become foster parents. This latter category will include foster parents who agree to host children with special needs and newborns abandoned at maternity hospitals. These foster parents will also need to go through vetting processes, but they will be paid a monthly bonus, have health insurance, and have the time spent fostering count towards pension. The purpose will be to avoid institutionalizing the children.