The Klaipeda city administration was duped into refusing a gay parade application that had actually been sent in by a local daily aiming to test the mayor's sense of tolerance. Mayor Rimantas Taraskevicius was asked permission for a gay parade to be held in conjunction with the city's 754-year anniversary this month. The application was rejected, but organizers were granted a right to speak at the meeting of the city council. In the meantime, news about the alleged parade was reported by national and foreign press. A spokeswoman for the city said the city council rejected the application since it contained no basic information about goal, time, location, route and number of participants of the parade.
Lithuania's population decreased by 9,200 persons during the first five months of 2006, the Statistics Department said, to 3.39 million. Some 12,225 babies were born in the country in the January-May period, down 388 year-on-year, while the death rate stood at 19,571 people, an increase of 591 compared with the analogous period of 2005. The number of emigrants over the period was 4,350 (down 2,000 year-on-year), and the number of immigrants increased by 200 to 2,450.
Foreign nationals will no longer be able to adopt children in Lithuania. The Social Security and Labor Ministry issued an order envisaging that requests of foreign adoption agencies to operate in Lithuania not be accepted as of Aug. 1. Agencies that have already been registered will be able to present applications for adoption of a child or children under six from not more than two foreign families or persons in one year. Foreign nationals will be able to adopt only children with special needs without any restrictions. There are about 300 foreign citizens and families willing to adopt children aged 5-6 years in Lithuania at present. Seventeen foreign adoption organizations have been accredited in Lithuania. According to information available to the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service, 197 children were adopted in Lithuania last year. Some 87 children were adopted by 81 Lithuanian citizens' families, with 110 more children adopted by 77 foreign families. Most children from Lithuania are adopted by U.S., French and Italian citizens.