Japan Eyes Higher Age Limit for Adoption (News)


Tokyo, Dec. 3 (Jiji Press)—Japan's Ministry of Justice has decided to raise the age ceiling in the country's special child adoption system to give more de facto orphans opportunities to grow up in a homelike environment, informed sources said Sunday.

Currently, children whose real parents are unable to raise them can become legal children of others if they are under six years old.

But the ministry hopes that older children, such as those in elementary school, can be adopted and leave orphans' homes and foster families they were placed with due to their parents' economic plights, domestic violence, and other reasons, the sources said.

Based on the decision, an expert panel set up by the ministry in July will come up with a report early next year. The ministry will make its proposal to the Legislative Council, which advises the justice minister, upon receiving the report. The government will decide whether to revise the Civil Code after studying the council's recommendations.

As for a new special adoption age limit, the ministry is examining the two options of 17 and 15, because the child welfare law regards those under 18 as children while the Civil Code respects decisions by people aged 15 and older.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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