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GREEK LAW

NEW LAW FOR THE ADOPTION

After the huge social turbulence that was caused in February 1995 and after the fluster for the plenty of the criminal actions that were made and was discovered in adoptions, the Greek Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General of that period decided to operate a deep search. That was something that finally resulted in the change of the anachronistic and obsolescent law of the adoption in Greece.

Nobody, but nobody, in the Greek law area as well as in the International can doubt the crucial contribution of S.E.A.S.Y.P in the change and in the modernization of the old law that made the adoptees, in reality, lifetime slaves by supporting the position of the lifetime secrecy and discretion concerning the adoptions.

Through out tens of t.v programs, news broadcasts, all the mass media, as well as tens of protests at the Greek Ministry of Justice, the adoptees managed to activate the justice authority and to accomplice what was a dream of a lifetime. And that was to change the unfair law.

The 2447/96 law gave the right to every Greek adoptee to search, after his coming of age, in order to find his roots. Our effort was not useless and all of them, who accuse us and still fight against us, must at least be aware of this big truth. With our fights and with our big revolution we succeeded a big profit with time value. A big help towards all the adoptees that can from now on without big hardships, right after theirs coming out of age, can find their lost identity.

It is a need to adduce here a publication of "Ta Nea" (translation: "The News") newspaper at 20/4/96 from the records of our association:

"The Ministry of Justice asked the attorney authorities to do checking at the institutions that are involved in cases of adoptions, whereas in the following days in the Parliament will be promoted the draft with which the Institution of the adoption is been modernized. After the latest discoveries concerning the illegal adoptions of Greek children from American families, mostly in the decade of 50's, the Attorney General Mr. Venizelos with a deed of his towards the district attorney of Supreme Court Mr. Sioula, stimulates the necessity to investigate the accusations that come on publicity and to check up all the institutions that are involved in cases of adoptions as for their legality and the way of their function.

In the same time from the Ministry of Justice's side will be promoted without any delay at the Parliament the known draft that had been established from a special commission, under the presidency of the Professor of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Mr. Deligianni, and with which the code of the family rights is reformed and radical changes concerning the Institution of the adoptions are coming.

The draft is expected to be submitted until the end of next week at the Ministry of Justice, whereas the basic arrangement that had been already examined by the co-competent Ministry of Health and Provision, that has the responsibility for the operation of the relevant institutions and organizations. According to the proposed plan, every adoption will from now on be made with guarantee judicial procedure, whereas pure private adoptions will be made only in case of relatively relation between the child and the family that adopts it.

The adoptions of adults are forbidden, whereas an adoptee can not be prevented from getting to know his biological parents, after the competition of the 18th year of his life.

As Mr. Venizelos said yesterday, in the draft will be included an interim provision with which will definitely be acknowledged the right of informing and searching of the roots of the persons that were given for adoptions under the until now regime. "Ta Nea" ("The News") 20/4/96.

It is true that a lot of our proposals were not included in the legislative project of the law preparatory commission of that period which worked with the readjustment of the obsolescent and anachronistic law 610/70 and 193/73. The legal authorities, unfortunately, did not understand neither the volume nor the size of the illegalities that were made in the past and which made the Holy Institution of the adoption, in many cases, a cruel action of inhuman transaction.

We believe that until today the adoption in Greece is not totally protected and that more transparency, clarity and protection are needed. Every kind of confidential is what in the past covered the black rackets of the transactions and compose a danger for the future of the adoptions, as well as for their legality. The safety valve lids were not found so as to protect in the future the next victims, children and biological parents.

S.E.A.S.Y.P. association will not stop working and insisting on the proposals that once lodged for more transparency and clarity. In the next actions of S.E.A.S.Y.P will be the introductions of the new proposals towards the Greek Ministry of Justice with which we ask for the legislative adjustment for all the old cases of the adoptions that were made during the black period in our Country.

The issue of the right of searching of the biological parents that without reason lost their children should be reexamined. Where ever there is no consent of the biological parents, but there is hooking of the baby, whether with the method of the fictitious deaths or with the method of the fictitious attributions, the right of searching should be given by law by the public prosecutor's offices.

And so as to be more specific, we ask the fair demand of the biological parents who have death act of registration of their child (which for many reasons they doubt) to be included. They are not allowed in any way of access to search. And to be entered that obvious right of them with a new legislative adjustment.

More over, we ask from the Ministry to enact by law the right of searching even for those adoptees that because of prescription they are not allowed to search so as to find their roots.

Finally, we ask the directions of the institutions, that in influx contravention in many illegal adoptions were discovered, not to be able to claim, hypocritically, that they do not give information concerning others to the adoptees that search, because those exact information led us to the real identity of many of them.

The confidential of any case of procedure and laws to end from the moment that contranentional actions are find out.

We believe that we have so much more to do in order to help a big group of people from whom unreasonably inviolable human rights were deleted. We are still at the beginning. But we have will, decisiveness and courage. We are for once more determined to wake up the Greek Justice. The law 2447/96 is the first proof of the justification of our fair fight.

S.E.A.S.Y.P. succeeded with its fights the recognition of the 18th year of age of the adoptee as the starting point of his right to search for his lost identity.

S.E.A.S.Y.P. will constantly try to contribute with every legal way in the reforming, the stepping up, the improvement and the award of the Institution of the adoption, as well as the protection of the adoptees forever, with the cooperation of the competent conveyors. We will not stop asking for the help and the cooperation of all of them who believe in our fair fight.

We set out now the articles of the new law that an adoptee can invoke in the Greek Authorities and Services in order to take all the confidential documents that concern him. Moreover, for the bigger help and informing, we mention the specific articles of the Greek Constitution that advocate and go together with the spirit of 2447/96, as well as with the targets, the aims and the ideology of S.E.A.S.Y.P.

Article 2
  • Respect for the protection of human dignity constitutes the primary obligation of the state.
Article 5
  • Each person is entitled to develop his personality freely and to participate in the social, economic and political life of the country, provided that he does not encroach upon the rights of others, the Constitution or the bona mores.
Article 21
  • The institution of the family, being the foundation of the preservation and improvement of the nation, as well as marriage, motherhood and childhood, shall be protected by the state.
Article 57 (Law 2447/96)
  • With the exception of the regulations that follow, the adoptions that were made before the beginning of the validity of this law are governed as to their validity and the legal results from the until now law. But, the layouts of the articles 1569 until 1577 of the Civil Code are adjusted as well as to the adoptions that were made under the previous legislative regime.
  • Adoptions of underage children that happened at offence of the second paragraph of the article 2 in combination with the article 4 of the Legal Law 610/1970 are retrospective validated from their performance, unless their invalidity has already been pronounced with final court decision at the time of the beginning of the validity of the present law.
  • In cases of underage adoptions that were made before the beginning of the validity of the present, the adoptive parent has the right to ask from the court, with a request of his that goes on trial during the procedure of the voluntary jurisdiction, the complete accession of the child into his family, according to the articles 1561 until 1566 of the Civil Code. For the change of that, must as well acquiesce the child that has completed the 12th year of his life and in any case must, according to his maturity, be heard his opinion. For the acquiescence or the hearing of the adoptive child the procedure of the second paragraph of the article 800 of the Politics Legal Procedure Code is kept.
  • Cases about adoptions that outstand at first degree are judged according to the arrangements of that law.
  • In cases of underage adoptions, that were made before the beginning of the validity of the present under circumstances that secure their secrecy, according to the conditions of the law which validated during the time of their performance, the adoptive child has after his coming of age the right to be totally informed about the records of his biological parents according to the third paragraph of the article 1559 of the Civil Code. The civil servants of the local government, the district attorney and the organs of the qualified social service or institutions have the obligation to provide their contribution to the concerned during the performance of their above right.
Article 1559
  • The adoptive child has, after his coming of age, the right to be totally informed from his adoptive parents and from every qualified authority about the records of his biological parents.

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