Changes in the UK law offer hopes for adopting families

It is likely that changes in UK law will soon facilitate the process of children adopted by EU citizens in Muslim states reuniting with their families in the UK.

At present, the so-called “Kafala” rules operate in many Muslim countries, according to which the full adoption of children is prohibited.

In the case of SM (Algeria) v Entry Clearance Officer [2018] UKSC 9, a French couple could not obtain permission for their adoptive daughter from Algeria to enter the UK for a very long time, because, according to the existing Kafala rules, she was not a direct descending relative, but just a distant relative. The former receive an automatic right to enter the UK, while visa applications of the latter are heavily scrutinized.

In accordance with the new Resolution 8 (1A) introduced by the 2019 Immigration Regulations, applicants, in addition to the adoption decision, must show, in particular, that the child:

  • Lived with an EU citizen from the moment the adoption decision was taken;
  • Became a member of an EU citizen’s family;
  • Developed relations with an EU citizen, meaning that the EU citizen bears parental responsibility, as well as legal and financial responsibility for the child.

 Naturally, the new legislation was a big step forward for many people who adopted children from Muslim countries. At the same time, it will still be very difficult to gather evidence for parents of very young children.
 

Posted in English on Aug 11, 2019.