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1. Which are the stages that must be followed in order to complete a valid adoption?
Concluding or forming an adoption requires the following of several juridical procedures. To sum them up, they could be classified as it follows:
a) the juridical acts of the persons who give their consent in view of the adoption. The consent of the person or family willing to adopt is extremely important in the legal process of concluding the act of adoption since it is the starting point of the procedure.(art.9, paragraph 1). The consent must be expressed in an authenticated form.
b) the juridical acts of the public authorities or of the authorized private authorities, which are legal requirements for the conclusion of the adoption. In this sense we mention:
- the certificate, issued by the Commission for Child Protection.
- the positive recommendation for the conclusion of the adoption, issued by the same public authority;
- the entrusting of the child in view of the adoption, to the person or family willing to adopt;
- the confirmation of the Romanian Committee on Adoptions, which should confirm the completion of the procedures and the compliance with the terms stipulated by the Ordinance of the Executive no.25/1997;
- forwarding the adoption request of the person or family willing to adopt to the competent Court in order to obtain the legal approval of the adoption.
c) the approval of the adoption by the competent Court, in concordance with the procedures and with the specific conditions prescribed by the law.
The above-mentioned juridical operations are perfected in a certain sequence and at different points in time. In all the cases, the legal approval of the adoption by the competent Court is preceded by the juridical acts of the persons who give their consent in view of the adoption, except for the case when the child already is over 10 years of age and whose own consent is given in front of the competent Court. These juridical acts also precede the acts of the authorities called to fulfill their obligations in view of the conclusion of the adoption (these are mainly administrative acts). Sometimes, a certain period of time may pass between the above-mentioned juridical operations. During these time intervals, changes may occur in what concerns the substantial conditions, the impediments or the formal conditions of the adoption.
Adriana Paraschiv

2. Who are the persons whose consent is demanded for the valid conclusion of the adoption?
The conclusion of the adoption requires the manifest consent of certain persons (article 7, 8 and 12 of the Ordinance of the Executive no. 25/1997), that is:
a) The person or family willing to adopt. Both a single person and two spouses (article 4, paragraph 1) family (as specified in the Ordinance of the Executive no. 25/1997) are entitled to adopt. The person who adopts may be either single or married. In the case of the latter only one of the spouses becomes adopter ( i.e., one spouse adopts the child resulted from a previous marriage or from outside the marriage of the other spouse).
b) The spouse of the adopter. If the adopter is married, the conclusion of the adoption requires the consent of the spouse (article 4, paragraph 2 of the Ordinance of the Executive no.25/1997), with the exception of the case when the latter is not able to express his/her manifest consent. This requirement is justified by the fact that the adoption must not create situations incompatible with a normal family life.
c) The biological parents of the child to be adopted. Both biological parents of the child must give their consent for the adoption of the child, if the child does not have the legal age to give his/her own consent (article 2, paragraph 1 and article 7, paragraph 1, letter a of the Ordinance of the Executive no.25/1997). This consent is required even if the biological parents are divorced and it must always be given in authenticated form.
d) child to be adopted, The but only if he/she is ten years of age or older (article 18, paragraph 4) and solely in front of a competent Court.
Adriana Paraschiv

3. Under what circumstances is the expression of the consent considered to be valid?
There are two conditions, as it follows:
a) The consent must be given by a person fully capable of expressing it and it must not be vitiated.
As a consequence, an unmarried under age person or under legal interdiction cannot express a valid consent in view of the adoption (article 8 of the Decree no.31/1954 and article 117 of the Family Code).
Mentally disabled persons who are not under legal restriction may not give their consent in view of the adoption during their limited periods of lucidity, because such an adoption is not in the interest of the adoptee whereas the act of adoption takes into consideration the superior interest of the adoptee.
b) The consent in view of the adoption is expressed in an authenticated form (article 7, paragraph 1, letter a and article 12, paragraph 5, letter d of the Ordinance of the Executive no. 25/1997). The expression of the consent by the potential adopter must be authenticated before the competent Court is addressed.
Adriana Paraschiv

4. In what concerns the consent of the spouse of the adopter, can it be replaced or waived?
The consent of the spouse of the adopter cannot be replaced (i.e. with the authorization of the higher authority, of a Court or of another legal body), but this consent is not required if the spouse of the adopter is not able to express his/her manifest will (article 4, paragraph 2 of the Ordinance of the Executive no. 25/1997). That is if he/she is in one of the following situations:
- is under legal restriction;
- has been taken away the legal parental rights;
- is missing, , even if his/her disappearance was not certified by the decision of a Court, etc.
We must specify that the cases taken into consideration are those ones in which the spouse of the adopter is the situation of absolute impossibility to express his/her manifest consent in view of the adoption.
Adriana Paraschiv

5. Are there cases when the consent of the biological parents of the child to be adopted is not required?
According to article 7, paragraph 2 of the Ordinance of the Executive no.25/1997, the consent of the biological parents is not required in the following cases, specifically and limitedly prescribed by the law:
- the parents have been taken away their legal parental rights;
- they are deceased;
- they are under legal restriction;
- they were legally declared dead or missing;
- they are unknown;
- they are unable to express their manifest consent (this situation is to be interpreted in a restrictive manner in order not to create a situation in which the legal requirements asking for the consent of both biological parents are eluded);
- the child is legally declared as abandoned (the decision of the Court must be final and irrevocable).
Adriana Paraschiv

6. Is the consent of only one of the biological parents legally sufficient for the conclusion of the adoption?
The rule is that both biological parents must consent to the adoption of the child.
The exceptions to the rule are specified by article 7, paragraph 3 of the Ordinance of the Executive no.25/ 1997. Thus, according to the above mentioned article :" the consent of only one of the biological parents is legally sufficient for the conclusion of the adoption in the cases when the other parent has been taken away the legal parental rights, is deceased, is under legal restriction, has been legally declared deceased or missing, is unknown or unable, for any reason, to express his/her manifest consent".
Adriana Paraschiv

7. What are the conditions making valid the consent of the biological parents of the child to be adopted ?
The first condition is that the consent of the biological parents of the adoptee is expressed in an authenticated form (article 7, paragraph 1, letter a and article 8, paragraph 2 of the Ordinance of the Executive no.25/1997).
A second condition: this consent can be expressed only after 45 days from the date of birth of the child passed. (article 8, paragraph of the Ordinance of the Executive no.25/1997).
Adriana Paraschiv

8. Can the consent of the biological parents of the child to be adopted be revoked?
According to article 8, paragraph 2 of the Ordinance of the Executive no.25/1997: " the biological parent can revoke the given consent within 30 days from the registration date of the authenticated document of consent." In case the biological parent revokes the consent within the prescribed legal period, the adoption cannot be concluded.
After the expiration of the 30 day legal term, the consent of the parent becomes irrevocable (article 8, paragraph 3 of the Ordinance of the Executive no.25/1997).
However, there are interpretations according to which, in case the biological parent revokes the consent after the legal term of 30 days expired, thus when it had become irrevocable, the Court may analyze the reasons of the revocation or any other circumstances related to the revocation and, if it considers them as well-grounded, it may annul the adoption.
Adriana Paraschiv

9. If the parent who revoked the consent is deceased, can the adoption still be concluded?
In this case, the adoption can be concluded only if all the conditions relative to the newly created situation are fulfilled:
a) the other biological parent has given the consent; therefore, the adoption can be concluded on these grounds;
b) the child to be adopted became an orphan; therefore, the adoption of the child may be concluded in conditions similar to the ones required for an orphan child; (article 2, paragraph 2 of the Ordinance of the Executive no.25/1997).
c) the remaining biological parent of the child is under legal restriction, has been taken away the parental rights, is unknown, legally declared dead or missing or is unable, for any reason, to express the manifest consent; the procedure is similar to the above-mentioned one.
Adriana Paraschiv

10. In the case the child has no parental support, who is the person called to give its consent in view of the adoption?
The child without parental support can be found in one of the following cases;
a) the child is under guardianship, in which case the Court may ask for the consent of the guardian parent. The guardian parent may or may not give its consent, but this is not a condition for the conclusion of the adoption.
b) the child is not under guardianship, although he/she is in the situation of being placed under guardianship, in which case, the adoption may be concluded without the institution of guardianship.
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