Role of the Office in the stepparent adoption procedure

In cases of adoption proceedings brought by the stepparent in the Czech Republic, where there is an international element, the Office is usually the child's guardian ad litem. This is because the child is a full participant in the proceedings but is unable to defend themselves and the parent cannot represent the child as a legal representative due to a possible conflict of interest. The court appoints his representative, guardian ad litem.

What is the role of the guardian?

  • To be the legal representative of the child (propose evidence, give opinions, attend court hearings, etc.)
  • To present the opinions and interests of the child
  • To protect the interest of the child in proceedings (does not have to be the same as the parents and in some cases even the child´s wish)

How does our Office work as a guardian?

As a rule, we try (alone or in cooperation with the local child welfare authority) to:

  • cooperate with both parents and find out their opinions (face-to-face meetings, online interviews)
  • collaborate with the child (if appropriate and possible), inform the child appropriately about the court proceedings
  • ascertain the child's situation at home
  • explain the potential implications of the judgment in another country (e.g., where the child will be commuting regularly)