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Cuban Family Law on Adoption and Parental Responsibility

Jun 25 , 2024

Since 2022, Cuba has had a new family code, which is an update of the parameters of family law in the country. This new code is intended to bring Cuba closer to societies where family law is more advanced. It is intended to ensure the safety of citizens.

In this new Code, many aspects have been renewed for the benefit of children and their quality of life.

Accordingly, the term parental authority has been changed to parental responsibility, which is not a simple change of terminology, but rather a reinterpretation of care and the duties and rights of the parties providing or receiving care.

The termParental Responsabilityrefers to the set of rights and duties that parents have in the care of their children, with the aim of ensuring their physical, psychological and social well-being, giving them greater independence and without referring to the children as the property of the parents, as “parental responsibility” suggests.

The rights of parents (guardians) in raising children:

  • Caring for, nurturing, educating and protecting the child
  • The child’s legal representation
  • Respect the integrity and independence of the child and establish standards of behavior.
  • Determining where the child lives

The duties of the parents (guardian(s)) in the upbringing of the children:

  • Protection of the child’s physical and moral integrity
  • Providing for their basic needs
  • To ensure their education and comprehensive training and development
  • Respect their right to expression and privacy

Note 1: Unless otherwise agreed or ordered by law, parental responsibility is exercised jointly by both parents (guardians).

Note 2: In the event of divorce or separation, visitation and custody arrangements for the child are established, as well as the support payments necessary for the child’s well-being.

Adoption in Cuba

Adoption is a legal act by which a person (adopter) assumes the legal parentage of a minor (adoptee), granting him/her the same rights and obligations as a biological child.

Requirements for adoption in Cuba

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be legally capable of exercising parental responsibility
  • Be 16 years of age or older than the person being adopted, unless he or she is a close relative or a common-law spouse.
  • No criminal record related to minors
  • Have demonstrated financial and emotional ability to care for adopted child

The process of adoption in Cuba

First, a formal request must be made to the Provincial Family Court, which will conduct a thorough investigation of the living conditions of the prospective adopter and the prospective adoptee. The court shall make a decision on the application, taking into account the best interests of the child.

Unfortunately, although this is the established procedure, in practice very few adoptions take place in Cuba due to the excessive bureaucratic mechanisms in the hands of the institutions.

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