Davit Sergeenko

Health Minister Davit Sergeenko. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–There are more than 3 000 applications of couples who want to adopt a child in Georgia, and only 20 children available for being adopted.

Health Minister Davit Sergeenko said at press conference on Wednesday that the procedures aren’t difficult but the problem is requests and responses.

He said normally families want to adopt a healthy child and the number of healthy children ready for adoption are too small, therefore the waiting time can be too long, even several years.

“Fortunately, there are cases when a family agrees to adopt a child with disabilities and in this case all the procedures are carried out fast,” he said.

Sergeenko was responding to the Christmas epistle of the Georgian Patriarch, who condemned abortion, as well as criticized in vitro fertilization, the use of surrogate mothers and homosexuals.

The Patriarch wrote that nowadays, many support abortion, euthanasia and suicide. He said that a family where an abortion has been carried out cannot be happy.

“What it is to imagine that every year according to unofficial information about a million abortions are carried out in Georgia,” he wrote.

The health minister, however, said that last year about 40 000 abortions were registered.

“In the ministry there is an assumption that [the number of] unregistered abortions may be more than this number,” he added.

Sergeenko said the problem is not only the number of abortions but the attitudes to it, because selective abortion is a bigger problem.

“I hope we will be able to form some type of strategy, and I call on each of you to support us in this,” he said, explaining that many selective abortions take place when the mother learns that she is going to have a daughter.

Sergeenko said a total prohibition on abortion will bring negative results and will force the practice underground. In this case, the number of abortions will not be reduced, but will in fact increase the risk of death of mothers.