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The Protector of Citizens’ Recommendations for rectifying the omissions incurred during the adoption of a minor from Subotica, upon finalizing the adoption procedure in the child’s best interest, contributed to the rectifying of systemic shortcomings that were identified in this case, and their rectification might affect more efficient work of the competent bodies in future adoption procedures.

The procedure of adopting a minor from Subotica was completed in June through an expedited procedure in order to protect child’s best interest, and in an investigation to control the legality and regularity of the three competent authorities, the Protector of Citizens identified systemic irregularities and issued recommendations for these to be rectified as urgently as possible.

The recommendations by the Protector of Citizens, which referred to the correction of the shortcomings in this case, but also to the prevention of future potential irregularities in the adoption procedures, have been fully implemented by all competent authorities to which they have been issued – Subotica City Social Welfare Center, Provincial Secretariat for Social Policy, Demography and Gender Equality and Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy.

Upon the Protector of Citizens’ Recommendation for examining the applicability of the Instruction on the manner of work of social welfare centers in the adoption procedure from 2006, the Ministry of Labor issued a new Instruction on 24 July 2020 replacing the previous. The Ministry also informed the National Institute for Social Welfare about the need to organize permanent and continuous training of experts in social welfare centers in the adoption procedures, as recommended by the Protector of Citizens.

Also on the recommendation of the Protector of Citizens to update the Unified Personal Register of Adoption, the competent Ministry gave a 5-day deadline to all social welfare centers to contact all registered adopters-to-be and check whether they have given up adoption.