The issue has long been controversial and the party’s family policy working group acknowledged that “few questions in family law have been so loaded”. But the Moderates say that adoption should be tested in the case of small children who have been placed in foster homes for the long term and whose parents are considered inappropriate.
“They have been incredibly marginalised in politics,” said councillor Ulf Kristersson, the chairman of the working group, to Svenska Dagbladet.
There are currently 10,000 children and teenagers living with foster families and a further 5,000 who have been placed in institutional care. Once a child has been in the same foster family for three years, the social services make a judgement on whether the move should be permanent.
But according to the Moderates, that happens far too rarely. In 2004 100 children were given new legal guardians, and there were in total 188 adoptions of children born in Sweden.
“The parents’ right to have their children back tends to collide with the child’s right to a stable upbringing,” Kristersson told SvD.
Social services minister Morgan Johansson said that he did not reject the idea, but that it is not clear that adoption is the best option in many cases.
The Left Party’s Ingrid Burman, who chairs the parliamentary social committee, expressed caution.
“I want to warn against a reversal to the situation where children are placed out without making sure that they have continual contact with their biological parents,” she said.
In their proposal the Moderates said that adoptions or placements of children in foster homes and institutions should be evaluated better, and that the social services’ control of private institutions should be tightened.
Foster homes should be given increased resources so they are able to support the child’s education, said the working party.