International Adoptions Rising in Italy
Published: January 27, 2010 at 10:16 am
The process of adopting a child born in another country is rigorous, slow, expensive and bureaucratic. Still, thousands of couples are more than willing to pursue this special kind of “experience.”
Adoptions in Italy are mostly international, thanks to the government’s policy to ward off child abandonment by granting total support to women in maternity, providing them with necessary assistance and adequate facilities.
The statistical figures released by the Commissione per le Adozioni Internazionali (CAI) have confirmed the positive trend which was already registered in 2008 and the first semester of 2009. In other words, international adoptions in Italy surged to 12.6 percent last fiscal year. This is a substantial growth, according to CAI, considering that some countries like Romania have suspended orphan petition processing.
About 25,000 children born in other countries have been adopted by Italians in the last 10 years. The average is 2,000 a year, with aspiring adoptive parents totaling more than 10,000, a number which is expected to keep growing. This makes Italy the second most popular country, after the United States, for international adoptions.
Almost 40 percent of internationally adopted children are less than five years old and the majority came from Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Colombia and Brazil. Adoption processing usually takes at least two years to be finalized.
Extreme poverty, war, social upheavals and restrictive government policies in population control can lead to child abandonment. But natural calamities such as tsunami, flood, landslides and earthquakes can also contribute to family disintegration. In fact, according to Save the Children, up to two million children remain displaced by the recent earthquake in Haiti.
While changes are being made to accelerate adoption procedures to eligible prospective parents, measures are also being implemented by the countries from which children are adopted and the whole international community in an effort to prevent baby abduction or baby trafficking, negative consequences of the rising interest in international adoptions.