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«REPUBLIC OF HAITI Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST) Institute for Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) The Law Reforming Adoption was ...»

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Article 10. Applications of single individuals over 35 years old are accepted. A single adopting individual cannot be more than 50 years old.

Article 11. Neither of the adopting parents (spouses or partners) can be more than 50 years old. This age limit does not apply when adopting a spouse’s child or in intrafamilial adoptions.

Article 12. The adopting parents must be 14 years older than the child that they want to adopt. If the child is of the spouse or a close relative, the age difference must be at least nine years.

Article 12.1. In the adoption of a biological child of one of the spouses, the other spouse adopts alone.

Article 13. The birth in the household of one or several biological children is not an obstacle to adoption by two spouses of one or several children whom they previously took care of and who are still in their care.

–  –  –

Article 14. If the adopting parent already has biological or adopted children, these children must give their opinion if they are more than eight years old.

Article 15. An individual residing in Haiti can adopt a child residing in another country according to the laws of the child’s habitual country of residence.

However, the prospective adopting parent must be previously declared qualified and able to adopt and receive the necessary guidance prior to approval from the IBESR.

Article 16. A simple or full adoption duly ordered in a state not a party to the Hague Convention is recognized in Haiti, provided a petition for the validation [exequatur] of the foreign adoption ruling is sent by the adopter to the government commissioner for registration of said ruling in the vital records office of the requester's hometown.

In the conversion of a simple adoption into a full adoption, a petition should be addressed to the senior judge of the Court of First Instance of the requester's hometown in order to obtain a reasoned ruling.

This petition will be accepted only if the child's biological parents or guardians freely consent and are informed of the consequences arising from conversion of a simple adoption into a full adoption.

In the event that the biological parents or family council are prevented from expressing their will, the senior judge of the competent Court of First Instance will decide on the petition after deliberation with the public prosecutor.

–  –  –

Article 18. The central authority must ensure that the opinion of any child aged eight years or older is taken into account.

The central authority must ensure that any child aged 12 years or older has given free consent to his or her adoption.

The central authority must ensure that the child is informed about the consequences of adoption.

Article 19. A child can be adopted when his or her adoptability is decided by the central authority. The

following may be adopted in accordance with the provisions of Article 43:

1. Children who have lost both father and mother.

2. Children whose parentage is not established.

3. Children whose biological parents lost their parental rights through a court decision.

4. Children whose biological parents gave their consent for adoption. In this case, both biological parents must give their consent.

–  –  –

Article 20. The central authority makes sure that adoptable brothers and sisters are not separated at any time during the adoption process and are adopted by the same family, except for reasons justified by their best interest, as determined by the relevant authority.

Article 21. The possibility of adoption by relatives identified through a matching process must be considered by the central authority for all children declared adoptable. Particular attention shall be paid to children with special needs.

–  –  –

1 – The effects of simple adoption Article 23. In simple adoption, adoptees are placed under the parental authority of their adoptive family.

They nevertheless maintain all the rights that they enjoy in their family of origin, including their inheritance rights.

Article 24. Simple adoption confers the adopter’s name to the adoptee by adding it to the adoptee’s original surname. No changes are made when both the adopter and adoptee have the same surname.

In the case of adoption by a couple, the adoptee takes the husband or male partner’s surname.

Article 25. In the petition for an adoption order, if the adopter deems it necessary, he or she can request to change the given name(s) of the child being adopted.

The judge will review the petition according to specific criteria, taking care to seek the child's opinion if the judge deems that the child has adequate capacity for discernment.

Article 26. The adoptee and his or her descendants have the same inheritance rights as a biological child in the adopter’s family, without, however, acquiring the quality of a forced heir with regard to the adopter’s ascendants.

Article 27. If the adoptee dies without issue, property in kind given by the adopter or acquired through inheritance returns to the adopter or to the adopter's heirs, on the condition of contribution to the debts and prejudiced rights of third parties.

Similarly, the properties the adoptee had received as gifts from his or her biological parents are also returned to them or to their descendants.

Article 28. The family link resulting from adoption is extended to include the adoptee’s children.

Marriage is forbidden between a. The adopter, the adoptee, and his or her descendants;

b. The adoptee and the adopter’s spouse, and vice versa, the adopter and the adoptee’s spouse;

c. The adopted children of the same person;

d. The adoptee and the adopter’s biological children; and e. The adoptee and the members of his or her family of origin.

–  –  –

2- The revocation of simple adoption Article 29. Simple adoption can be revoked. The revocation terminates, for the future, all effects of simple adoption.

The request for revocation can be made by the adoptee on serious grounds such as

• False statements made in the application for adoption;

• Ill-treatment perpetrated on the adoptee;

• Sexual contact with the adoptee; and

• All other acts detrimental to the adoptee’s physical and psychological integrity.

Adopters can request revocation of the adoption only if it is proved that the adoptee has made an attempt on their life or on that of their spouse or other children.

Article 30. Adoptees who have reached an age where they have sufficient understanding can ask the central authority to start the procedure for revoking the adoption. If this is not the case, the government commissioner can, if requested by the central authority, ask the Court of First Instance to revoke the adoption.

Article 31. In order for an adopter’s request to be admissible, the adoptee must be more than 16 years old.

When the adoptee is a minor, revocation can be requested by his or her birth parents or, in their absence, by a member of the adoptee’s family of origin up to the degree of first cousin.

Article 32. Theruling revoking the adoption must be reasoned. Its operative provisions are entered in the margin of the birth certificate or the transcription of the adoption ruling.

–  –  –

Full adoptees lose their surnames of origin and their right to inheritance in their biological family.

Full adoption is irrevocable and not subject to cancellation, revision, or revocation.

Article 34. The adoptee has, in the family of the adoptive parent, the same rights and obligations as a biological child.

Article 35. Full adoption grants to the child the surname of the adoptive parent and, when the adoption is done by a couple, the surname of the husband or male partner.

Upon request of the adoptive parent(s), the court can modify the first name(s) of the child and will ask the child’s opinion if he or she has the sufficient capacity of discernment.

Full adoption gives the child the right to Haitian citizenship if one of the adopting parents has Haitian citizenship.

–  –  –

Article 36. Full adoption of a spouse’s child is allowed only with the consent of the other biological parent (when the identity of both biological parents is known).

In this case, the effects of full adoption only affect the rights and obligations of the child’s other biological parent, without affecting those of the spouse.

The consent of one biological parent is sufficient when the other is unknown, deceased, or legally declared missing or stripped of parental rights.

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The central authority is responsible for reviewing all adoption requests, preparing files, and authorizing adoption according to the standards and administrative process adopted by the IBESR prior to submitting the cases to the relevant court. The central authority is charged with promoting partnership among competent authorities to ensure the children’s protection and to take all necessary measures to avoid illegal practices and improper material gain upon a child’s placement in an institution or during the adoption process.

Furthermore, the central authority is responsible for cooperation with foreign central authorities to disseminate information regarding national adoption law and to remove barriers to application of the Hague Convention and for taking all necessary measures to prevent illegal practices, including improper financial gain.

Article 38. The central authority has the duty to

1. Investigate the family and social situation of children proposed for adoption;

2. Prepare the child’s file and determine his or her adoptability;

3. Centralize all adoptive candidates’ files, as well as those of the children in process of adoption, and to maintain records relating thereto;

4. Match families and children;

5. Rule on the placement of the future adoptee during the adoption process;

6. Guide and evaluate the socialization period between future adoptive parents and future adoptees;

7. Grant adoption approval to adoptive parents residing in Haiti and ensure relevant training;

8. Monitor child postplacement services;

9. Maintain the files and data relative to the adoption process according to the conditions provided by law;

10. Ensure that the adoption law and the principles of the child’s best interest, of adoptability, and of subsidiarity are respected;

11. Provide and disseminate information about domestic and intercountry adoption;

Le Moniteur No. 213 Friday 15 November 2013

12. Authorize and supervise operations of LAAs (adoption agencies) in Haiti, provided that they respect the provisions of the present law; and revoke or decline to renew licenses in cases of noncompliance with the present law or for any other relevant reason; and

13. Establish all procedures and regulations in conformity with the present law.

Article 39. The central authority has a multidisciplinary staff (lawyers, doctors, sociologists, psychologists, social workers, etc.), who work under the supervision of the director.

Article 40. Public officers directly or indirectly involved in the adoption process cannot own, manage, or be members of the board of directors of children’s homes or LAAs or have conflicts of interest resulting from relationships with people or private organizations caring for or in contact with children who may be adopted. These agents must treat adoption files impartially and never use their position to facilitate the adoption process.

–  –  –

Maintaining the child within his or her biological family must be encouraged throughout the evaluation period. During that time, the central authority must guide the family with the goal of preserving the family unit.

Article 42. Intercountry adoption is considered only after all other forms of family and permanent care of the child in Haiti have been duly evaluated.

Forms of care include social welfare support for families, placement in a foster family, intrafamilial adoption, domestic adoption, or any other solution addressing the child’s specific needs and best interests.

Article 43. Adoption consent must be given by the biological parents or by the legal representative and must be stated in writing before the family court judge. It cannot be given before the child reaches the age of three months.

When it has been proved that one of the biological parents is deceased, unable to express his or her will, legally stripped of parental rights, or unknown, the other parent’s consent is sufficient.

In the case of a child who has lost both father and mother or whose parents cannot express their will, the family council gives its consent to adoption.

In the case of adoption of a spouse's child, the consent of the other biological parent is required, except when the other biological parent is unknown, legally declared missing, deceased, missing, or legally deprived of parental rights.

A person under 18 years old can consent to the adoption of his or her child with the approval of a family court judge.

–  –  –

When a child has been abandoned, the mayor of the municipality where the child was found declares the birth of the child and gives his or her consent to the adoption before the family court judge.

Article 44. Consent to adoption is valid only if the child’s biological parents or legal representative have been the objects of a social evaluation by the central authority. The central authority provides the necessary guidance and support to reunite the family and simultaneously ensures that the consent of the people responsible for the child has not been induced by payment.

Consent to adoption becomes final after a one-month period, which begins with the written consent to adoption before a family court judge. However, the judge cannot accept the consent of the biological parents or the family council prior to receiving the central authority’s report.

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