National Network for Children (Bulgaria) shared recommendations from the State Agency for Child Protection for parents wishing to establish themselves in a foreign country or who are in the process of establishing themselves. The article emphasizes that this is one of the most sensitive contemporary issues and it often requires the intervention of organs of different member states of the European Union. One of the most important points of this issue is that in cases of parental conflict or the need for child protection, decisions are made by the authorities of the state where the parents and children are residing and what is applied is the law of that state rather than the state of nationality.
In this regard, parents should refer to some specific guidelines before a potential move abroad. We quote these guidelines from the article of the National Network for Children:
- It is necessary for the parents to be informed in advance about the traditions, customs and values of the particular country in which they will reside and adhere to them;
- They should familiarize themselves with child protection legislation and regulations regarding the rights and obligations of parents in the given country;
- Keep in mind that any action that negatively affects the child's psycho-emotional state is an act of violence against him/her. Violence occurs in various forms - physical, psychological, sexual, as well as neglect are acts of violence;
- The rules on the exercise of parental rights and the right to visit are different in each EU country. However, all EU countries recognize that children have the right to personal relations with both parents, even if they live in different countries;
- In cases where the parent's behavior poses a threat to the child's personality, health, education or property, the parent is guilty and restrictive measures are taken against him/her;
- The best interests of the child are a priority in all actions relating to children, whether taken by public or private social assistance institutions, by the courts, administrative or legislative bodies;
Additional useful information concerns the international documents that apply to children's issues:
- Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility
- Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 1980
- Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in the Field of International Adoption, 1996
For further information, you can contact the consular services of the Bulgarian diplomatic representations abroad or the State Agency for Child Protection in the form of alerts on their website.