Comparing Before and After the New Brazilian Adoption Law

A brief summary of the Law is worth before and after the enactment of your amendments:

New Law: From now on, the child can be kept for a maximum of two years without depriving the family power.

The change meets what is defined in the ECA: that the permanence of children in shelters should be temporary – enough time for the court to decide whether the child should return to family and adoption.

The new legislation establishes that an interprofessional or multidisciplinary team should evaluate the situation of each minor, at most, every 6 (six) months, and the competent judicial authority, based on a report prepared by the team, should decide in a reasoned manner the possibility of family reintegration or placement in a surrogate family.

However, there is a caveat: the child may remain in the shelter, if proven absolute impossibility, demonstrated by a reasoned judicial decision.

Before: There was no deadline for the child to stay.

New Law: Before sending the child to adoption there will be attempts to reintegrate the child into the extended family: close relatives with whom the child or adolescent lives and maintains bonds of affinity and affectivity. They have preference over the national and state adoption register.

Before: The concept did not exist.

Child donation by pregnant woman

New Law: Institutes assistance from pregnancy to delivery of the child.

Pregnant women who want to donate their children must be referred to the Justice of Childhood and Youth by professionals who know the desire. The doctor, nurse or manager of a health care establishment of a pregnant woman who fails to make an immediate referral to the judicial authority may be penalized with a fine of R $ 1,000.00 to R $ 3,000.00.

The law establishes that the public power should provide psychological assistance to the pregnant woman and the mother, including those who have expressed interest in giving their children up for adoption.

Before: There was no forecast

New Law : Provides frequency of candidates in the preparatory course.

After those interested in adoption adopt a petition, with proof of income, attestation of physical and mental health, certificate of criminal record; among other documents, they will be heard by the MP, who may even summon witnesses “to allow the capacity and preparation of the candidates to exercise responsible parenthood”.

They are then required to participate in a program offered by the Justice for Children and Youth which includes psychological preparation, guidance and encouragement for interracial adoption of older children or adolescents with specific health needs or with disabilities and groups of brothers.

Before: There were no rules.

International Adoption

New Law: For persons or couples residing outside the country there will be a separate register, which will only be consulted in the absence of qualified national postulants in the registers. The measure is in line with the Hague Convention on International Adoption.

Before: The candidate should prove that he / she is properly qualified for adoption, according to the laws of his / her country, as well as submit a psychosocial study prepared by a specialized and accredited agency in the country of origin.

Age to adopt

New Law: Those over 18 years of age, regardless of marital status , may participate in the procedure.

Before: Anyone over the age of 21 could enter the adoption process regardless of marital status.

The change happened to adapt the law to the Civil Code in which the majority is fixed at 18 years.

The new Act aims to shorten procedures for more children to be adopted and to get a home, live in family, have an education and affection, but some Jurists and Psychologists discuss whether the Law actually came to help or leave some gaps for Judges to give their opinion understanding.

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