Legislation could be supplemented with two more reasons for terminating parental rights

The national legislation could be supplemented with two more grounds for terminating parental rights. It goes to the accumulation of child support arrears during more than 24 months and when it is demonstrated that the child was subject to parental alienation. Such an initiative was proposed by PAS MP Angela Pojoga-Munteanu. The draft law was discussed during public consultations, IPN reports.

According to Angela Munteanu-Pojoga, the bill comes to improve the national legislation and ensure a balance between the best interests of children, parental rights and public order. The current legislation doesn’t fully ensure people’s access to judicial protection during reasonable timeframes. Also, disputes involving minors are examined during 10-24 months on average, although the ECHR recommends limited deadlines for such disputes.

The MP noted that the legislative initiative for the first time comes to shed light in Moldova on situations of parental alienation, when one parent systematically denigrates the other parent in order to distance the other parent from the child.

The draft also provides that the parent who maintains a child will have the right to go to court and ask for permission to settle abroad when the other parent doesn’t agree and this agreement is not motivated. This will include the possibility for children to be supported by their parents until they complete their studies or reach the age of 25, if they continue their studies. Maintenance can only be claimed by the child if he/she continues his/her studies.

Vasile Coroi, ombudsman for children’s rights, said that last year there were 60 complaints and requests invoking the violation of the right to family and also parental alienation. He believes that the best interests of the child must first be considered and only then seen whether the parent’s right is ensured.

Ina Scaticailov, of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection’s Division for the Protection of the Rights of the Child and Family, argued that the local authorities and individuals are obliged to inform the guardianship authorities about the situation of children growing up without parents. Experience shows that this does not happen and penalties for parents who do not leave their children in someone’s care legally should be therefore introduced. The intention to terminate parental rights on grounds of alienation increases the risk that both of the parents of the child will be deprived of their rights, as both may resort to parental alienation.

Diana Săculțan, deputy head of the General Border Police Inspectorate, noted that most of the cases in which the child suffers are related to misunderstandings between divorced parents one of whom asks not to allow the child to leave the country. The introduction of the necessity for both of the parents to give their consent for the minor to leave the country will be in the child’s disinterest.

This was the first public consultation on the legislative initiative.

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