A new online platform regulating and streamlining the adoption and fostering process in Greece received some 450 applications within just two weeks of going into operation, Alternate Social Solidarity Minister Theano Fotiou said on Friday.
Speaking in a radio interview, Fotiou hailed the platform's success, saying that of the 450 applications it received from its launch in April, 90 expressed an interest in fostering a child.
The new system aims to create a nationwide record of the children in state care and prospective parents by making it mandatory for all child protection institutions to submit a file for each of their wards who are being put up for adoption.
“The same is required of prospective parents, so that the system can know their needs and they don't have to apply to each institution individually,” Fotiou said.
Fotiou stressed that the new system aims to reduce the time prospective parents have to wait for their adoption applications to be processed to a maximum of 12 months from several years, as has been the case so far.
She also added that the process of screening prospective foster parents will take at least three months in order to ensure that they are suitable candidates who can provide the right environment in which to raise children.
The official added, however, that same-sex couples can only apply for fostering, as Greek legislation does not allow adoptions to be carried out by couples joined by a cohabitation agreement.