The ruling coalition is considering making it mandatory for adoption agencies to be licensed, as opposed to merely registered, informed sources said.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its partner, Komeito, hope the stiffer requirements will shut down questionable agencies that charge excessive fees for arranging adoptions, the sources said Saturday.
Some of the proposals to be considered include requiring adoption agencies to be social welfare or medical corporations, refrain from arranging adoptions for profit, and maintain managements with good social standing, the sources said.
Japan had 22 registered adoption agencies as of Oct. 1, and they arranged some 116 adoptions in fiscal 2012. According to a Komeito politician, some charged exorbitant fees, making the arrangements “look almost like human trafficking,” and said criminal complaints have been filed before.
The ruling camp aims to submit a bill on the change during the current Diet session and will ask the opposition camp to support it. Komeito held its first panel meeting on the issue on Wednesday, and the LDP is expected to follow suit shortly.