Over the last two decades, some 12,000 Brazilian children have been adopted
by foreign couples. Just in the last ten years, Italians have adopted 5,000
As a result, professionals from Brazil and Italy who work with international adoptions are holding a seminar this week in Brasília to make the process smoother and more efficient.
The consensus is that Brazilian legislation on foreign adoptions is adequate in halting traffic in children and their commercialization. Would-be adoptive parents are accompanied by authorities while they are in Brazil, for example.
International adoptions are regulated by the Hague Convention. The process in Brazil takes around a year. After receiving a child, foreign parents must make annual reports for four years. The child obtains dual citizenship – the country where his parents take him and Brazilian citizenship.
The deputy secretary for Human Rights, Mario Mamede, reports that in general children adopted by foreign couples are older – the average age is four.
Two years ago, judge Siro Darlan, of the First Children’s and Juvenile Court of Rio de Janeiro, regarded as positive the authorization of four Italian civil entities to be installed in Brazil to act as coordinators in the adoption of Brazilian children by foreign couples.
“In Brazil, these children are rejected by the family and also by society,” Darlan observed.
Siro Darlan informed that children from 0 to 18 may be adopted, but, in general, only children older than 5 or those with health problems are made available for adoption by foreigners.
According to the judge, the reason is that, in Brazil, children in this age group and sick children are practically never adopted. “Couples generally only adopt infants with specific characteristics which are not very easy to find.”
The judge added that he himself has verified that “Italians respect adopted children and treat them with great affection.”