In Malta the adoption by same-sex couples is legal since 2014 (read more).
“(1) Children adopted jointly by partners to a civil union contracted between persons of the same sex under the Civil Unions Act, 2014 or recognised by the said Act shall, notwithstanding the other provisions of this Code or of any other law, be recognised for all intents and purposes of law as having parents of the same sex and all rights and obligations of parents towards their children and of children towards their parents under this Code or under any other law shall apply to such children and parents.
(2) Whenever a law or administrative measure requires a person to declare the name or other particulars of the mother or the father, a person adopted jointly by partners in a civil union as referred to in sub-article (1) shall be entitled to declare the names or other particulars of the two partners in the said civil union instead of the said particulars of the mother or the father.”
“Act of civil union.
295A. (1) The provisions of this Sub- title shall mutatis mutandis apply to civil unions contracted under the Civil Unions Act, 2014.
(2) An act of civil union shall be in the form stipulated in Form EE in Part II of theFirst Schedule to this Code.”.
There are a number of criteria, established by law, which prospective adoptive parents have to satisfy in order to be eligible to adopt a child:
If the persons who would like to adopt a child are married / in a civil union, at least one of them must be 28 years of age or older. This also applies to a single person.
Between the child and any one of the adoptive parents, there must be a maximum discrepancy of 45 years of age. This also applies for a single person.
A single applicant can adopt both a boy and a girl.
Cohabiting couples cannot adopt. Only one person from the couple can adopt and the other person is not obliged to maintain the child and has no rights over the child.
At their fist contact with the Agency, the Prospective Adoptive Parents are briefed on the adoption legislation and procedures they have to follow in order to adopt. After the necessary documents are processed, Agenzija Appogg will then provide a number of Preparation Sessions which the prospective adoptive parents are obliged to attend to prepare them for a possible addition to their family through adoption.
After the completion of the Preparation Course, social workers from the Appogg Adoption Service carry out home visits and organize meetings with the prospective adoptive parents in order to prepare a Home Study Report which includes a thorough assessment of the prospective adoptive parents. This report is then presented to the Adoption Board which, after evaluating the contents of the report, either approves for the adoption to proceed or does not approve the Prospective Adoptive Parents.
Prospective adoptive parents can adopt either foreign or Maltese children. Those who show interest in adopting a foreign child, would need to follow the procedure established by the country from where they would like to adopt and submit the required documentation. The application is put on the foreign country’s waiting list, until a child is matched for adoption. Once a child is matched, an Adoption Medical Report, containing the child’s medical history, has to be screened by the Health Authorities at Mater Dei Hospital for approval to be given for the child to be adopted in Malta. Judicial proceedings in both the foreign and Maltese Courts are required for the adoption to be legally valid.
Those who show interest in adopting a Maltese child are placed on a waiting list until a child who matches the prospective adoptive parents is available for adoption. Afterwards an application is filed in the Maltese Courts where the proceedings for adoption start.
In both foreign and local adoptions, adopted children are monitored by Appogg social workers who review their progress. In the case of foreign adopted children, this progress is reported to their country of origin.
Agenzija Appogg also offers support services to those persons, usually mothers, who are contemplating giving their children up for adoption and those who are contemplating adoption but have not yet taken the decision. These services are provided in the light of what is in the best interest of the child, which is not always easy to identity and which entails the use of sensitivity and a number of professional skills, particularly those of assessment.
No processing fees are incurred in making use of this service.
Those interested first would need to make an appointment with the Agenzija Appogg’s Adoption Servies. Social workers will explain the way forward. Any documentation required will be explained at that stage.”