The unparalleled case has been described as “very odd” by the Swedish authorities, who are desperately trying to figure out who currently bears responsibility for the child according to Swedish law.
In a unique case, two parents in Jönköping County had second thoughts about their adopted child originally from Russia and returned the kid to their country of origin.
The child was adopted through a so-called “individual adoption”, the newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported. This means that the adoption was not mediated through an adoption association, but that the suitability of the adoptive parents was investigated by the municipality itself. After an adoption has been approved by a Swedish district court, all legal ties between the child and the biological parents cease.
However, after a year and a half, the adoptive parents “regretted” their decision, according to documents from the Swedish Health and Care Inspectorate. The child was reportedly left with Russian authorities. According to Dagens Nyheter, the child was of preschool age and went to preschool in their home municipality in Sweden. Why the parents had second thoughts it is unclear.
“This is very odd, I have not experienced anything like it and neither have my colleagues”, a social secretary in the municipality told national broadcaster SVT.
This case is unparalleled and has posed a lot of problems for the Swedish authorities. The municipality does not know how to act and has contacted the Swedish Health and Care Inspectorate, IVO, in hopes of receiving guidance.
“We are now seeking legal guidance to find out what opportunities and obligations we have to act in the case”, the municipality’s social director told SVT.
The Social Welfare Board has also been in contact with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, which is said to have issued directives on the care of the child.
“They have taken the ball, but they said they need our support because it is the municipality that owns the case”, the social director said.
As the child is already abroad and back in their home country, it is unclear how the municipality should act and what the Foreign Ministry can do.
“What we do, we cannot go into detail. I cannot comment anymore”, Mats Samuelsson of the Foreign Ministry’s press service told the newspaper Dagens Nyheter. “In general, the following applies: in case of children in need of protective measures in an international context, there are regulations, such as the 1996 Hague Convention”, he added.
“It can, for example, be about exchanging information or protective measures for children”, Samuelsson concluded.