Adoptions in 2018 reached a 10-year high, with 54 successful applications mostly from foreign countries, Social Policy Minister Michael Falzon announced.

Prospective parents applying for inter-country adoptions benefitted from a €10,000 government grant to cover part of the expenses.

The issue was on the agenda of a news conference on Tuesday, marking the launch of a national adoption strategy for public consultation. The document is based on 25 recommendations which are planned to be implemented by 2022.

Social Policy Minister Michael Falzon noted that the objective of this initiative was to facilitate adoptions while ensuring the best interest of children, which he stressed, must never be treated like commodities.

Dr Falzon noted that the government had recently concluded an agreement which would pave the way for adoptions from Bulgaria, while talks were being held with Moldova.

Asked about adoptions from Russia, the minister acknowledged that the number of successful applications had dropped dramatically in from 2017 onwards as a result of the government’s decision to allow adoptions by same-sex couples.

Dr Falzon noted that talks with the Russian authorities were underway to resolve the matter, which he said was down to Russia’s different adoption laws.

As for local adoptions (involving parents living in Malta), he said a major stumbling block was that applications could only be considered if the prospective parents had been fostering the child for at least 10 years. This period was being reduced to five years, and in exceptional cases a court could waive this period completely, he added. The proposals are currently being debated in parliament.

Submissions for this public consultations document which can be downloaded from can be made until May 3.

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