Notification obligation in case of a change in circumstances of an adoption applicant
Under the Adoption Act, in the event that any material changes occur in an applicant’s circumstances during the validity of the permission, the applicant shall notify the Adoption Board thereof without delay. The Board shall process notifications of changes in circumstances as a matter of urgency.
‘Material changes’ as referred to in the Adoption Act include but are not limited to:
- a death in the applicant’s family,
- a serious illness,
- a criminal conviction,
- becoming unemployed,
- relocating to another municipality, and
- a new family member moving into the same household as the applicant (e.g. the applicant’s partner or a child placed in foster care with the family).
It is not possible to define comprehensively what might be regarded as ‘material changes’. Therefore, other kinds of changes in the applicant’s circumstances may also trigger the notification obligation.
The Adoption Board shall, confidentiality provisions notwithstanding, immediately inform the adoption counsellor of such a notification. If the applicant is a client of intercountry adoption services, the service provider shall also be informed of such a notification, and further clarification shall be requested as and when needed.
A provider of adoption counselling and a service provider shall, notwithstanding any secrecy provisions, inform the Adoption Board without delay of any change in the applicant’s circumstances brought to their attention that may result in the cancellation of the permission for adoption and of any issue that may result in the annulment of the Board’s decision under section 50 of the Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003).
When a provider of adoption counselling or a service provider has submitted such a notification or has been informed of such a notification submitted by another party, they shall discontinue the providing of adoption counselling or intercountry adoption services until the Adoption Board has ruled on the matter. There shall be no appeal against a decision of discontinuation.
The Adoption Board may revoke an adoption permission if the circumstances of the applicant change so substantially after the granting of the permission that going through with the adoption as per the permission would not be in the best interests of the child. However, once an adoption is confirmed, the permission may no longer be revoked.