** LEGISLATIVE UPDATE. May 2012. **
The child welfare laws of Taiwan are undergoing significant revisions. New legislation, "Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act,” was passed in November 2011. The legislation has an implementation date of June 1, 2012 and addresses various aspects of child welfare including adoption services.
Expected changes include:
- Only government-licensed child welfare organizations will be able to provide adoption services. Child Welfare organizations will be subject to increased requirements and standards in terms of initial licensing and renewals, as well as ongoing agency procedures and services.
- Judges will be authorized to require that adoptive parents receive parent training, physical and mental health assessments, alcohol and drug screenings, and/or criminal background clearances.
- Domestic placement will be considered a priority, with international adoption becoming an option after efforts have been made to place the child with a local family. All adoptable children will be listed on a country-wide database. After being posted on the database, a child is eligible to be considered for international adoption.
All organizations that Gladney works with in Taiwan have been undergoing a relicensing process and we have been working closely with them to exchange information about Gladney's licensure status, adoption education requirements, and our post-adoption services. This month we have been able to talk with several families to answer questions about how the new legislation may affect the Taiwan program, as well as their specific case. These individual calls can be very helpful - please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange a time to talk.
Previous blog posts related to this legislation appeared on March 3rd, March 24th and April 18th. Please note, these prior posts reported the implementation date, in error, as July 1, 2012.