The Malta Central Authority within the Ministry for the Family, Children's Rights and Social Solidarity is the designated Central Authority for inter-country adoptions under the 1993 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and CoOperation in Respect of InterCountry Adoption. The role of the Malta Central Authority is of a regulatory nature.
Currently, there are three (3) adoption agencies that have been granted accreditation by the Malta Central Authority to offer adoption-related services. Accreditation is valid for a period of two (2) years as stipulated in the Adoption Administration Act (2008).
The role of an accredited adoption agency is to assist prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) throughout the entire adoption process.
The Adoption Board is an independent body both from the Central Authority as well as from the accredited adoption agencies. Its role is to assess the eligibility and suitability of the PAPs and ensures that the adoption is in the best interest of the child.
The Adoption Board also deals with local adoptions, especially in the case of Maltese children who are in foster care and are freed up for adoption.
In the case of inter-country adoption, when the Adoption Board determines that the PAPs are eligible and suitable to adopt a child, the accredited adoption agencies assist the PAPs to collect the necessary documentation according to the specific needs of the sending country.
The actual dossier is then either sent by the Central Authority or by the accredited adoption agency itself.
This depends on the sending country’s requirements. Following the matching of a child with PAPs and subsequently the finalization of the adoption in both the sending as well as the receiving country, the role of accredited adoption agencies is to follow-up with postadoption reporting.
The number and frequency of these post-adoption reports is also determined by the sending country.
When it comes to search of origin, the Central Authority deals with requests received either by the adoptee and/or adoptive parent/s (on behalf of the adoptee/s who might be under 18 years of age).