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Schaerbeek couple must give up adopted child after 18 months

22:13 29/11/2017

A couple from Schaerbeek must relinquish their 18-month-old adopted child to the birth mother, following a decision by a Brussels court. “Legally, this is the correct decision,” said the director of the Adoption House, “but in humanitarian terms, it’s quite dramatic.”

The child was born in the spring of 2016 and arrived in the home of the Schaerbeek couple five days later. The birth mother signed a document confirming she was giving the baby up for adoption and preferred no contact with the adoptive parents.

Last February, the mother announced that she wanted the baby back, and a legal process ensued. The couple was ordered by a judge to give the child up last June and appealed the decision. The appeals court has now upheld the original decision.

In Belgium, a birth mother can change her mind any time before the adoption process is complete. And there is no minimum time period for that. When the mother requested the baby back, the adoption process had not been officially approved via a court verdict.

Traumatic separation

The adoptive parents are gay men, but it is not clear if that had anything to do with the birth mother’s decision. The parties involved are now making a slow transition, with the child staying with the mother one day a week to get used to the new situation.

Experts agree that removing a child from its home environment after so long a period is traumatic. “In 25 years of supporting adoptive parents, we’ve never seen a case like this,” said Adoption House director Iris Vandenborre. “But it’s important that we not see adoptions within Belgium through the eyes of this one case. Normally with domestic adoptions, the birth parents and the adoptive parents have close contact. This is, in any case, a very sad story.”

Vandenborre also said that she would like to see a change to adoption regulations to give adoptive parents more rights.

Written by Lisa Bradshaw

Comments

CC_R

What on earth? How utterly traumtaic for both the child and the adoptive parents. How in earth is this in the childs best interest? If the couple hadnt been dame sex would this decision have been made? Ar what point can a mothet who abandoned her baby change her mind and its nit ok? I would taking this to the european courus if i were the fathers

Nov 30, 2017 10:34
CC_R

Same sex sorry wasnt intended was a typo

Nov 30, 2017 10:35
Tralala

I know that couple and they are great parents to that little boy. Just a lovely family. I remember that they carried him in a carrier when he was a baby and showed him the parks in Brussels. The boy is absolutely attached to them and does not know his birth mother (which was her decision!). What a wrong and heartbreaking decision of the court. That destroyed three peoples lives.

Nov 30, 2017 20:07
CC_R

Indeed heart breaking I can not imagine this doesn't breech everyone human right

Dec 1, 2017 18:53