The Greek adoption procedure is an exhausting, time-consuming procedure for parents, and usually requires quite a bit of bureaucracy. Parents might need to wait up to five years in order to finally adopt a child.
Adoption is a legal process, enacted by Court order. There are no private adoption agencies in Greece. Parents who are interested in adopting a child must do so with an attorney or through state social welfare services and organizations.
The potential adoptive parents file an application and then meet with a social worker to discuss their request. The report and opinion of the social worker play an important role in the approval of the adoption request. After the application and meeting, the adoptive parents wait for three years and in the fourth year are notified via mail as to whether or not their request was approved.
Once the request is approved, the next step in the procedure is the frequent meetings of the adoptive parents with social workers. In a three-month period 10 to 13 meetings with social workers are held to meet the parents, examine their suitability and further discuss their request. After the meetings the parents must wait once more for the social workers to find a child suitable for them and their situation.
Furthermore, before finalizing the adoption, for fifteen days, the child spends the day in a simulated house with his adoptive parents in order to meet them and get used to them.
The adoptive parents need to meet some criteria for adopting a child. Their choice to adopt needs to be primarily child-centered. They also must be employed with a stable house and no criminal record. Furthermore, they can’t be over 60 years old and the age disparity between the parents and the child can’t be more than 50 years. Last but not least, the adoption must also be approved by the family of the adoptive parents.
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