Child adoption in the Republic of Armenia
In order to adopt a child in the Republic of Armenia a person residing in the territory of the Republic of Armenia must submit the following documents:
- Their passport;
- Their certificate of residence and certificate on their living conditions;
- The proof of residence and a certificate about their family;
- A guarantee issued by an organization, or three individuals about the prospective adoptee’s conduct and character;
- A certificate from the employer stating their monthly and/or annual salary;
- A medical certificate of clean health which should exclude the presence of disease(s) stipulated by the decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, number N 517-N, dated the 5th of May 2005;
- Copy of their marriage certificate if married;
- A written consent of the spouse, if the adoptive parent is married, except for the cases when the place of the other spouse is not known, or if they no longer reside together;
- The document certifying the absence of criminal record(s).
After reviewing all the submitted documents a decision is taken on child adoption. Should the decision to adopt be granted, when there is an absence of conditions that prohibit adoption (please see below), the decision is valid for 12 (twelve) months. The prospective adoptee then can, within three days of receiving the decision permitting one to legally adopt a child, be registered in the Government of Armenia database of prospective adoptees, as available to adopt. Should the submitted documents contain incomplete information, one is offered a chance to fix, or add the missing information within 30 (thirty) days.
The decision permitting one to legally adopt a child may be withheld under the below circumstances:
- The prospective adoptee has not corrected the submitted documents, or the inaccurate information during the required period;
- The official description of conduct and character of the prospective adoptee is unsatisfactory;
- The Act on the living conditions of the prospective adoptee does not meet the conditions established by the legislation of the Republic of Armenia;
- The prospective adoptee has failed to substantiate his/her claim;
- The prospective adoptee is barred from child adoption under the law, or other normative legal acts of the Republic of Armenia.
The decision refusing one to legally adopt a child is legally binding from the date of issue for 12 (twelve) months.
A person wishing to adopt a child is removed from the Government of Armenia database on prospective adoptees by:
- Voluntary application for removal from the database;
- When the term of 12 (twelve) months, post the decision to adopt, has expired;
- When the prospective adoptee adopts a child;
- In the event of termination of permanent residence of the prospective adoptee in the territory of the Republic of Armenia;
- On one of the grounds provided for by Part 1 of Article 116 of the Family Code of the Republic of Armenia.
Foreign nationals and the citizens of the Republic of Armenia residing in the territory of a foreign state can adopt a child from the Republic of Armenia, if all of the above documents have been presented, as well as, when a permission or a guarantee from the relevant authority of a foreign State is presented, when that State is signatory to “On cooperation in the field of child protection and foreign adoption” of the Convention.
If foreign citizen wishing to adopt a child does not live in the state that is signatory to the Convention, he/she in addition to the above documents must submit the corresponding guarantee letter of the competent authority of that State and a certificate of commitment to further supervision over the conditions of life of the adopted child, which is issued by the relevant authority of the foreign State. The above rules apply for the child adoption of a child by a foreign citizen, residing in the territory of the Republic of Armenia.
Foreign citizens, stateless persons and citizens of the Republic of Armenia permanently residing in a foreign country can adopt a child in the Republic of Armenia if there is no possibility of adoption in the Republic of Armenia. All documents must be submitted in original with translation into the Armenian language where appropriate. The translations must be certified by a notary office. Each person wishing to adopt a child from the Republic of Armenia has a right to examine the personal files on prospective children.
If there are several families who want to adopt the same child, a meeting with the child is arranged in order of applications. Should the first prospective adoptees who met the child do not wish to proceed with the adoption, upon expiry of 15 (fifteen) days another meeting is organized with the next prospective adoptees? If the citizen of the Republic of Armenia residing in the territory of a foreign state, or a foreign citizen chose a child to adopt, they should contact the central authority of their state, which within three working days must provide notice in writing to the appropriate Ministry of the Republic of Armenia. Then within three working days, the Ministry of the Republic of Armenia shall notify the foreign central authority about the possibility of adoption and send a copy of the personnel file of the child to be adopted.
After registering an adoption in The Registry Office one must obtain a certificate of adoption. To do this a foreign citizen or a citizen of the RA residing in a foreign country must submit the following documents:
- The court decision and decree on allowing adoption and a copy;
- The certificate of adoption and the birth certificate of the child with copies;
- The copy of the passport of the prospective adoptee.
Persons who have reached adulthood in the Republic of Armenia can adopt a child, except in cases where a person is judicially declared incapable, or partially capable, or is deprived for health reasons and cannot exercise their parental rights. The list of diseases with which a person may not adopt a child is determined by the Government of the Republic of Armenia. The legislation also prohibits child adoption if there is no minimum level of income, no permanent residency, and social security, as well as, in cases where a person has a criminal record(s).
The decision on child adoption may be declared invalid in courts, taking into account the views of the child aged 10 (ten) years and if the adoptive parents are/have neglected their parental duties.
On grounds for deprivation and/or loss of parental rights in the Republic of Armenia:
- Physical, psychological or sexual child abuse and/or exploitation;
- Drug abuse, or chronic use of alcohol by the adoptive parent(s);
- At the request of the biological parents of the child, if they were previously presumed dead, or were missing;
- When the decision on the incapacity of the biological parents is reviewed and changed.
The legal relations with a foreign country on child adoption are governed by the laws of the Republic of Armenia, international treaties of the Republic of Armenia, law “On the civil status”, as well as, the decision number N 269 of the Republic of Armenia Government dated the 18th of March 2010. The registration of the child adopted by a foreign citizen, stateless person, or a citizen of the Republic of Armenia permanently residing in a foreign country, is carried out in a consular, or diplomatic representation. When a foreign country does not have a consular, r diplomatic representation of the Republic of Armenia, then the registration of the child is carried out by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia.