• Austria's news in English

Austrian blind couple told they can't adopt

The Local · 10 Sep 2014, 15:39

Published: 10 Sep 2014 15:39 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The couple, from Upper Austria, believe they have been discriminated against and have backed their claim with a certificate which stipulated they are both fully competent and able to raise a child.

But youth services in Upper Austria refused to allow the couple to adopt, as did youth services in Vienna.

Dietmar Janoschek (43) and Elfriede Dallinger (48) decided they wanted to adopt a blind Bulgarian child in 2010.

Janoschek works for a non-profit organisation called freiraum-europa, which is dedicated to helping permanently disabled people live independently. He said that Bulgarian orphans are living in “heartbreaking conditions”.

The couple fear that time is now running out for them as the maximum age difference between an adoptive child and parent is not allowed to be more than 45 years - and the couple want to adopt a  child under the age of three as they believe it is easier for the child.

Janoschek and Dallinger said youth services had said that they would not be suitable parents as they might have difficulty with things like identifying a tick bite or giving first aid in the event of an accident. However, they argue that blind people have highly developed senses and that they would be particularly well-suited to care for a blind child.

Reinhold Rampler from Upper Austria’s Department of Youth Welfare said that the couple’s disability was not the decisive factor and that there were other reasons they would not be suitable parents, but for privacy reasons these could not be made public.

Story continues below…

The Disability Ombudsman Erwin Buchinger has spoken in support of the couple’s wish to adopt.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

Brunnenmarkt murder 'could have been prevented'
Locals remember the murdered woman. Photo: Wien Caritas

The random murder of a woman in Vienna could have been prevented if the homeless and mentally disturbed man who killed her had been admitted to a psychiatric institution.

Iraqi family ask ECJ to help them stay in Austria
Kumberg locals hold a vigil for the family. Photo: ORF

A group of people from Kumberg in Styria have asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for help in trying to stop the deportation of an Iraqi family.

The Local List
Five things you need to know about winter tyres
Photo: carmagazine.co.uk

It’s that time of year when temperatures start to plunge and drivers are advised to switch to winter tyres to avoid being caught out by snow and ice on the roads.

Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available