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Society

Greece Won’t Use Religion, Sexual Preference, Status in Foster Care

ATHENS – A person's marital status, religion or sexual preference won't be a barrier in fostering a child in Greece, Deputy Social Affairs Minister Domna Michailidou said, the guidelines different than for adoption.

“The conditions for fostering are more flexible than for adoption. More people can become foster parents,” she said, said Kathimerini, although she didn't explain why there should be different rules.

That there are many children, she added, “That must be taken out of the institutions so they can grow up in a family.” According to the data, there are currently 1,650 children in care and of these, only 74 are eligible for adoption and most are over 6 years old.

Describing foster care as a “relationship that can last for years,” she stressed that “even if the child returns to its biological family, there will always be a relationship.”

“Fostering is not just for families that do not have children; it is for all families,” Michailidou said.

In December, 2019, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis outlined his New Democracy government's approach to foster care and adoption, saying it was based on providing stability, care and the love of a family.

In terms of children that are overlooked by prospective parents and remain in institutions, Mitsotakis said the government is examining the possibility of having teenagers live in facilities providing support and semi-independence.

"I think it's unacceptable that there are, on one hand, children in institutions looking for a family and, on the other, families willing to adopt who are blocked from doing this from some bureaucratic reason. Our plan is to apply a wider policy framework for children's care. In this new era for the protection of children, I ask all of you to join me," Mitsotakis also said.

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