In October 2017, Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya announced the intent to overhaul the adoption procedures and processes already in place in Turkey. Under the current laws, adoptive parents have an age requirement of 40. The changes will also include requirements for regular visits to the homes of adoptive families to ensure the safety and well-being of the child.

Currently, there are about 900 families in Turkey waiting to adopt. There is no reason to keep them from caring for children in need. Kaya said, “From now on, we are removing the age limit of 40 for child adoption. After a strong social inspection, those above 40 will also be able to adopt children.” From this point forward, citizens will be able to adopt after the required background checks have been done. According to the Anadolu Agency, the new rule is expected to go into legal force soon.

Adoption between the United States and Turkey is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention, so U.S. citizens must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government before consideration in Turkey. Adoption from Turkey allows consideration for both single and married applicants. Unmarried couples are not permitted to adopt together. Married couples must be married for at least five years before an adoption will be approved.

Applicants must be able to prove financial resources to provide an adequate environment for the child. Many documents must be submitted during the application process including criminal history, social security status, educational status, health report clearing persons from physical, mental, and physiological disability and addiction, as well as any appropriate residential permits.

Prospective adoptive parents are to spend a year caring for the child in Turkey prior to finalizing the adoption. Although Turkish law allows for a child to leave Turkey during the one-year probationary period, a U.S. visa cannot be issued until the probationary period is over and the adoption is final. Prospective U.S. adoptive parents should be prepared to remain in Turkey for one year.