ASTANA – A website created under the Kazakhstan without Orphans project is hoping to assist the nation towards that goal.
Usynovite.kz, (which stands for Adopt.kz) established by DOM Social Fund, works to promote all ways of placing children in families, including adoption, guardianship and patronage. The idea was to create an open database of children without parental custody who receive state support in public institutions. Operating since 2012, the website has made a sufficient contribution to reducing the number of orphans in the state.
“There is a stereotype in our society that adoption is very difficult and bureaucratic procedures take a lot of time that it is not worth dealing with. We make sure that access to information, including all forms of placing children with families and registration procedures, creates a correct attitude to adoption,” said DOM Social Fund Executive Director Tatyana Semyonova.
Usynovite.kz has a database about thousands of children without parental custody and contains responses to questions concerning adoption, rights, procedures and the duties of adoptive parents. Since its inception, children without parental support have found families. Led by Aruzhan Sain, the project is supported by Samruk Kazyna National Wealth Fund.
“We aim to give access and not to disturb a child. There is no information about the location of any child at our website. Any potential parent has to contact a special state body to meet a child,” said Semyonova.
The social fund has an agreement with the Children Rights Protection Committee under the Ministry of Education and Science. The state agency, which maintains all the data about children in foster homes, is currently the only group with access to the information.
“In 2012, the head of the committee Raissa Sher strongly supported our initiative, giving full information,” she added. “But we have problems. Today we have only part of the information, because it isn’t well provided by regional guardianship and custodianship agencies. The guardianship and custodianship agencies don’t provide the information in time and to the full extent.”
While the social fund considers the website “a really good tool,” the work of matching children and families is a daunting one, she added.
“The problem is that we have thousands of children in foster houses and we have a number of potential parents. But the parents don’t have access to information about the children,” she said.
Usynovite.kz is completely operational and at no cost to the government.
“Some regional guardianship and custodianship agencies cooperate with us and the results of the cooperation are excellent. For example, recently several foster houses were closed in Pavlodar region. This is the result of effective cooperation between the Pavlodar guardianship and custodianship agency and our organisation. The same situation is with Almaty region,” said Semyonova.