Photo Credit: GPO via Pikiwiki
Yemenite olim arriving in Israel, Aug. 26, 1950

The Knesset plenum on Tuesday approved in its preliminary reading the proposed Adoption of Children Bill, amending the existing law with a special provision regarding disclosure of adoption details of immigrants from Yemen, the East and the Balkans, submitted by MK Nurit Koren (Likud).

The bill was supported by 11 MKs without objection, and will be passed to the Special Committee on the disappearance of the children of Yemen, the East and the Balkans.

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Article 30 of the Adoption Law, 5741-1981, prohibits the examination of the adoption record by any person other than a government legal counsel or their representative, a marriage registrar or a person authorized by them, a chief welfare officer, and the adoptee at their request when they turn 18.

The new bill seeks to permit, notwithstanding the provisions of any law, a first-degree relative or guardian to review the adoption file of family members who have disappeared, been kidnapped or whose fate is unknown.

“It is proposed to amend the Adoption of Children Law and to stipulate, as a temporary provisions, that a senior social worker may inform a relative of a Jew belonging to a family from Yemen, the East or the Balkans, who was claimed to have been adopted between 1948 and 1954,” says the bill. “If such registration is found, he shall inform the Attorney General or his representative so that he shall request the Court to permit the publication or disclosure of the registration particulars.”

The explanatory notes accompanying the bill say, “Many families in the State of Israel suffer from uncertainty about the fate of their loved ones who have disappeared, were kidnapped or whose whereabouts are unknown, and who cannot review the adoption file of their loved ones.”

MK Koren said in a statement: “Throughout the years, the families’ demand has been simple. Let us open the adoption files and find out the truth. This is an elementary demand and it is finally being fulfilled. The cries of mothers and fathers, endless protests, and commissions of inquiry, are finally being heard here in the Israeli Knesset. This is another step on the way to resolving the matter, along with other actions designed to provide answers to the families.”

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