The Welfare and Social Services Ministry will set clear and uniform criteria for revealing to would-be adoptive parents the medical and emotional conditions of children up for adoption.
Minister Isaac Herzog said on Tuesday that transparency was needed in this field, which is sensitive and complicated. New regulations will assist both the ministry's Adoption Service and families who want to provide the best developmental, medical and emotional care for the children.
About 120 Israeli children are put up for adoption each year. About 40 percent are only a few months old, but the rest are not infants. Only a minority are abandoned in hospitals soon after birth. Some suffer from medical and developmental problems, either having been born with them, or due to abuse or negligence. In addition, some of the biological parents have medical problems that could indicate potential health problems in the children.
Hospital examinations and criteria for the babies' conditions are not uniform, and they do not undergo the same tests.
As a result, Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Avi Yisraeli and Welfare and Social Services Ministry Director-General Nachum Itzkovitz initiated the establishment of an interministerial committee headed by Prof. David Branski, chief of pediatrics at Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem.
The committee said that alongside the Adoption Service, an advisory medical team with experience in children's medical assessment would be set up. The team will assess all adoption candidates, and issue a uniform report that will be the basis for follow-up and treatment in the community.