The Spanish government on Friday released its plans for a law governing international adoption, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, the first vice prime minister said on Friday.
"This law will disperse the doubts and reticence felt by some couples and offer better guarantees to both parents and minors," she said, adding that existing legislation was fragmentary and lacked legal solidity.
Under the new law, adoption will need to meet certain legal requirements before being registered as valid. It will guarantee that the legislation matches international standards.
Spain is the country with the largest number of per capita cross-border adoptions, Fernandez said. In 2005, there were 5,423 adoptions for every 100,000 residents, and 12.3 percent of these were international adoptions.
The text wants to ensure that adoptions by overseas Spaniards and adoptions of Spanish children by couples from overseas are recognized as valid both in Spain and the corresponding nation. But it also restricts adoptions from nations where there is a war, natural disaster or a specific adoption authority does not exist.
The adopted children will also have the right at the age of 18 to find their biological parents.
Fernandez said that the law would protect the adopted children from kidnapping, sale or traffic of minors, and discrimination on grounds of circumstance of birth, and would also give them civil rights such as practicing religion, expressing opinions and speaking their own languages.