How many children find a new adoptive or foster family each year? And how many new applications for mediation of adoption and foster care are registered by the state authorities? We share some of the statistics from the reports of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in the field of social and legal protection of children.
For example, a comparison of the data between 2020 and 2022 shows that the number of new applicants for adoption has been increasing over these years. However, the number of adopted children has been decreasing.
The situation is different for children who can be taken into long-term foster care. There are more children suitable for foster care than children suitable for adoption. For example, in 2022, the number of children placed in long-term foster care was five times higher than the number of adopted children.
Before finalizing an adoption of a child, the prospective adoptive parent(s) must take care of the child for at least 6 months as part of the pre-adoption care. This period is set by law to provide for an evaluation period to prove that a safe and stable relationship has been established between the child and the adoptive parent. Only after this period has passed can the adoption be finalized.
In 2022, 405 children were placed in the care of future adoptive parents ("pre-adoption care"), and 302 children had their adoption finalized (after six months of pre-adoption care). In total, 707 children were in the process of being adopted or had their adoption completed in 2022.
In 2021, 373 children were placed in pre-adoption care, and 369 children had their adoption finalized (after six months of pre-adoption care) that year (a total of 742 children). In 2020, 449 children were placed in pre-adoption care and 312 children had their adoption finalized (761 children in total).
Similar to adoption, the court can place a child into pre-foster care. Its length is determined taking into account all circumstances of the case, and the court supervises the progress and success of pre-foster care.
From 2022, a distinction is made between mediated foster care and non-mediated foster care. Mediated foster care is such care where a child is "matched" with a family by the regional office and the foster parents are notified of their match with the selected child. In non-mediated foster care, the child is cared for by other relatives or persons close to the child, most commonly grandparents.
In 2022, a total of 1,542 children were placed in long-term foster care (mediated and unmediated), 106 children were further placed in pre-foster care and 671 children were placed in temporary foster care.
In 2021, 1,656 children were placed in long-term foster care, 126 children were placed in pre-foster care, and 665 children were placed in temporary foster care. In 2020, 1,564 children were placed in long-term foster care, 119 children were placed in pre-foster care, and 616 children were placed in temporary foster care.
The adoption or foster care application can be submitted at the department of child protective services (OSPOD - social and legal protection of children) in the place of permanent residence of the applicants. When submitting it, applicants specify what form of care they want to provide for the child - adoption, foster care, or temporary foster care.
In 2022, a total of 483 new adoption applications were submitted, as well as 367 applications for long-term foster care and 221 applications for temporary foster care. At the end of 2022, there were a total of 1,238 applicants for adoption who had already passed a professional assessment and were included in the register of persons suitable to become adopters or foster carers (evidence osob vhodných stát se osvojiteli/ pěstouny).
In 2021, 540 applications for adoption, 380 applications for long-term foster care and 120 applications for temporary foster care were submitted. In 2020, 485 applications for adoption, 315 applications for long-term foster care and 121 applications for temporary foster care.
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