TALLINN - In total 71 children were adopted in Estonia during 2017 and most of the adoptions were in-family adoptions, whereas 33 minors were adopted to a new family, officials said on Thursday.
As at the end of July, 14 children had been adopted to a new family in 2018.
The number of families on the adoption wait list is 245.
"We are very grateful to all the people who have been ready to open their heart to a child born to another family," said Nadezda Leosk, head of the field of replacement care at the National Social Insurance Board. She said that the National Social Insurance Board was waiting for all families ready to offer a home to children who cannot grow up with their birth parents for some reason to register with the replacement care wait list.
According to Leosk, one of the reasons behind the reduction in the number of adoptions in recent years is that courts deprive parents of their parental rights less often than before. Eligible for adoption are children whose parents have been stripped of their parental rights, whose parents have consented to adoption, or have died.
"Sometimes the factor preventing adoption is the wish of people to adopt a child meeting very strict criteria, such as an infant under one year of age or a small girl. A big portion of the minors in need of a new family however are teenagers who may have various health and behavioral problems," the official said.
She added that another obstacle was that there were also families unfit for adoption among the applicants.