After prospective adopting parents identify a child for adoption, the file for the case is presented to a judge in the region where the child lives. The power to approve or deny an adoption remains solely with an individual judge. The judge’s decision, in turn, is based on a review of various documents of each individual adoption case during the court hearing.
As a general rule, the judge’s decision is announced and issued the day of the hearing. However, it does not take effect for ten days. During the ten-day period, the adoption can be appealed, which the Embassy understands is rare. If an application for appeal is submitted to the court within ten days after the court hearing, an additional period of 20 days is added for filing the actual appeal case with all the supporting documents with the court. The waivers of appeal period are rarely granted in cases when there is clear evidence that a delay in executing the court decision is not in the best interest of the child (for example, damage to health).
Once the decision takes effect, the new adopting parents are granted parental rights and legal responsibility for the child.
Adopting parents must attend the hearing. In cases where one of the parents cannot be present at the hearing (e.g. major surgery, disability etc.), a judge may permit one parent to provide a power of attorney for the other parent.