Regulations regarding requirements relating to organizations that arrange the placement of children from foreign countries for the purpose of adoption

 

Established by the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs on 30 November 1999 pursuant to section 16 d of Act of 28 February 1986 No. 8 relating to adoption

Section 1 The scope and purpose of the regulations

An organization may be granted permission by the Ministry to arrange the placement of children from foreign countries for the purpose of adoption.

These regulations concern official requirements as regards the placement organization, its activity and its winding-up.

Section 2 Application for permission to arrange placement

Applications for permission to arrange the placement of children from foreign countries for the purpose of adoption with applicants residing in Norway shall be decided by the Governmental Office for Youth and Adoption.

Permission to arrange placement shall be granted for a period not exceeding three years. Any new application must be submitted not later than three months prior to expiry of the permission.

Decisions made by the Governmental Office for Youth and Adoption may be appealed to the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs.

Section 3 Supervision

The Governmental Office for Youth and Adoption supervises all aspects of the activities of the organization. The organization shall give the supervisory authority such information and assistance as is necessary to gain insight into the organization’s activities in Norway and abroad.

Orders may be issued concerning the rectification of matters that are contrary to a statute, regulation or condition for permission. Permission may be withdrawn in the event of non-compliance with a statute, regulation or condition for permission.

Section 4 General conditions

Permission to arrange placement of children from foreign countries for the purpose of adoption may only be granted and maintained in respect of an organization if:

The organization is operated on the basis of what are assumed to be in the best interests of the child.

The main purpose of the organization is the placement of children for adoption and the organization is not operated for financial gain.

The organization is managed and staffed by persons whose ethical standards and education or experience qualify them to work in the field of international adoption.

The organization has been granted permission by the foreign country in question to operate in the said state.

Section 5 Duty of secrecy

Any person who performs a service or work for an organization granted permission to arrange placement of children from foreign countries has a duty to prevent other persons from gaining access to or knowledge of what he or she, in connection with such service or work, learns about someone’s personal matters. This duty of secrecy shall apply also after the person in question has ceased to perform the service or work.

Section 6 Storage of personal data

The organization’s storage of personal data is subject to licensing pursuant to Act of 9 June 1987 No. 48 relating to personal data filing systems, etc.

The organization’s data concerning the adopted child and his or her origin shall be transferred to the Governmental Office for Youth and Adoption, which is responsible for storing the data.

Section 7 Statutes

The statutes of the organization shall be approved by the Governmental Office for Youth and Adoption. The same applies to amendments to the statutes.

Section 8 Annual accounts and annual report

Organizations granted permission to arrange placement of children from foreign countries shall prepare annual accounts audited by an authorized public accountant and an annual report in accordance with the requirements imposed by the Ministry. If the organization is engaged in relief work or other activities in connection with its placement activities, separate accounts shall be prepared for each area of activity.

The annual accounts and annual report shall be submitted to the Governmental Office for Youth and Adoption.

Section 9 Cooperation agreements

Any cooperation agreements which the organization is considering entering into with the authorities of other countries shall be submitted to the Governmental Office for Youth and Adoption for approval.

Section 10 Changes

Any organization granted permission to arrange placement of children from foreign countries shall immediately give notice of any changes in the organization’s activity in Norway or abroad which may be of significance for the said permission.

Furthermore, the organization shall immediately give notice of any changes in political, legal or other conditions abroad which may be expected to be of significance for its placement activity.

Such notice shall be given to the Governmental Office for Youth and Adoption.

If the organization is considering starting placement activities in a new country, the Governmental Office for Youth and Adoption shall be informed.

Section 11 Duty to arrange placement

All applicants are entitled to receive equal assistance from any organization granted permission to arrange placement of children from foreign countries.

The organization has a duty to arrange adoptions for applicants granted prior consent to adopt a foreign child when it is required that the adoption be arranged through an approved organization. The organization has a duty to inform the Governmental Office for Youth and Adoption if new information should emerge in the case which, in the opinion of the organization, may constitute grounds for reversing the administrative decision regarding prior consent.

The duty to arrange an adoption shall not apply if foreign authorities deem that the applicants shall not be allotted children. This shall also be the case if the applicants default on their financial obligations to the organization. In such cases, the applicants shall be notified in writing, stating the grounds. A copy of such notification shall be sent to the Governmental Office for Youth and Adoption.

Section 12 Information to applicants

All information distributed by the organization must comply with the laws of Norway and other countries concerned. Information material of a general nature shall be submitted to the Governmental Office for Youth and Adoption for approval.

Section 13 Winding-up of placement activity

An account shall be given in the annual report of the organization’s plans for future activities. If it is doubtful whether the organization can continue its placement activities, this uncertainty shall be explained in the annual report.

The Governmental Office for Youth and Adoption shall be notified immediately if there is a possibility that the organization’s placement activities will be wound up.

The statutes shall state how any unutilized funds shall be employed in the event of the placement activity being wound up. The statutes shall also state how individual cases in which the organization has undertaken the task of placement shall be completed.

The Government Office for Youth and Adoption shall supervise that winding-up takes place in accordance with the approved statutes.

Section 14 Commencement

These regulations shall enter into force on 1 December 1999.