Recent data from the 1st Childhood and Youth Court of the Federal District (1st VIJ) indicate that there has been an increase and change in the profile of adoptions in the Federal District. In 2022, 66 children and adolescents were given a new home, 7 more than the previous year. In addition, there was an increase, albeit small, in adoptions outside the profile most commonly sought by families, represented by the adoption of groups of siblings, young people over 12 years of age and children with a disability or serious health problem.
According to the organization’s survey, last year, a group of three and another of four siblings were adopted. In 2021, no large group of brothers was welcomed. In addition, there was a small increase in the adoption of young people over 12 years old, with three adoptions, surpassing the only one in 2021. Six children with disabilities or some serious health problem were also welcomed.
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According to Júlia Salvagni, psychologist and vice-president of Aconchego, this change in profile is a reflection of the intense work of public bodies, civil society organizations and people who carry out a dialogue and awareness movement about the adoption of children from historically less chosen profiles.
“There is a social construction that from a certain age onwards, character is formed and, therefore, adaptation is more difficult or not possible. And another myth that with a small child you could start a story from scratch. What an untruth. Both small and older children and groups of siblings present different challenges and adoption is a complex process. So, once the theme began to circulate more and more could be discussed about these myths and these bottlenecks, people began to have more information and, at the same time, to prepare themselves more”, explains the psychologist.
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The account does not close
Currently, there are 543 families in the DF able to adopt and 85 children waiting for a home. That is, there are about five families for every child awaiting adoption. This happens because there is a mismatch between the profile desired by those able to adopt and the reality of those who hope to be adopted.
98% of families want to adopt children up to three years old, 5% would welcome sibling groups of three or more, and 13% are open to taking in a child with a disability or serious health problems. Among the young people waiting to be welcomed by an adoptive family, 92% are over three years old, more than half belong to a group of three siblings or more, and 28% have a disability or serious health problem.
“There was this broadening of the profile, but most are still registered to adopt younger children, anyway, with some specificities. So, you have a disparity between the profile of available children and the profile of adopters. That’s a question. This change, which is a gradual change, which takes time, is a paradigm shift. It comes to reduce this disparity. It will reduce the distance between the profiles and this story of ‘the account won’t close’ will gradually cease to live in our social imaginary”, says Júlia Salvagni.
In Search of a Home
One of these initiatives that raise awareness about adoption in the Federal District is “Em Busca de um Lar”. The 1st VIJ program uses the active search tool, that is, the proactive search for families in legal conditions to adopt, to hold meetings between children and adopters.
On the project’s website, the profiles of children waiting for a family are presented through articles and videos. “The initiative to find a family for boys and girls with little chance of adoption takes into account that the exposure of their image is positive because it increases the chances of realizing the right to family life for these children and adolescents, whose profile is neglected by qualified adopters. in the register”, explains the organization.
What do the children want?
Júlia Salvagni is also vice-president of Aconchego DF, institution that takes care of children and supports family and community living in the DF. Among the actions carried out at Aconchego, there is the preparation of children who are going to be adopted and the recording of the stories of these boys and girls.
“This debate on the preparation of children and adolescents needs to be greatly expanded, because the success of adoptions depends on this investment, which is on both sides. Both the investment in the family that will adopt, so that they are aware, reflective of the challenges that come, and in the child, so that they can elaborate the biological family’s mourning process, so that they can understand that their history will be preserved, that it will be respected, that it is not starting from scratch”, he explains.
The psychologist also talks about the importance of also listening to young people waiting for adoption regarding the profile of the family in which they want to be welcomed.
“We still live in a society that is very guided, very centered on the speech and desire of adults. Little is said about what children want. So, we don’t often ask ourselves: which family does that child want? What home did that teenager imagine himself in? This needs to be considered when building a work with these boys and girls, so that, later on when they are in the coexistence stage, it contributes to a successful adoption”, clarifies Júlia Salvagni.
‘We also felt affectionately embraced by everyone around us’
Eugênia Christina, administrative assistant, and her partner Adeir are one of the couples who formed a family after adoption in the DF. In addition to a 10-year-old consanguineous daughter, Dandara, in 2020, they welcomed José Miguel, currently three years old.
The mother reports that, initially, they thought that the profile was not a very important issue. “Later, we understood that, as we weren’t in a hurry, the profile would be very important indeed, including helping us to understand that the integration also took place because of our choices or as a result of them”, she says.
Thus, they decided that they would like to take in a black child, as they are a black family, close to the age of their daughter, who at the time they started the adoption process was still being conceived. After Dandara’s birth, they decided that they would prefer a healthy child or one with a treatable disease, as their daughter had been undergoing treatment for childhood epilepsy since she was 4 months old.
“So any challenges beyond that could be very challenging for us. After these choices we thought it would slow down the waiting time. We thought it would be very insensitive to put such specific and restrictive criteria. But in the end we realized that all these choices were right and important for us. The rational aspect did not overcome the emotional and affective, on the contrary, it supported our choices, strengthened us in many decision-making moments”, reports Eugenia.
From enrolling in the qualification course for adoption to receiving the Term of Custody from José Miguel, approximately 8 years passed.
“This long time allowed us to mature our idea, work on the environment in terms of physical space and talk to our families about the subject. On several occasions we talk to relatives of ours who are adoptive parents, we share perspectives”, says the mother.
As he reports, the arrival of José Miguel in the family was preceded by a “carousel of very good but strange sensations”. to mobilize our human, spiritual, affective and emotional senses in great style”.
Eugênia Christina says that, with the arrival of the child, they had a lot of support and welcome from family and friends. The family also felt affectionately adopted by everyone around them, including the health professionals who assisted José Miguel in consultations, when he was still undergoing treatment for congenital syphilis.
“For all these reasons, we understand that the family that has an adopted child has a unique history, full of situations that only by sharing, experiencing, is it possible to know, and that our choices will determine to what extent we are comfortable, safe, sheltered , and, above all, happy”, shares the family.
waiting for the meeting
Environmental manager Ligia Kawata is one of the people who is in the process of being approved for adoption in the Federal District. After much discussion between her and her partner, they decided to start the process last year. The plan is to adopt a child and also have a consanguineous child.
“That’s when I started to realize how these two processes are very similar. The uncertainties, the fears, the curiosities, the concern that we have not to romanticize this process of wanting to be a mother and father, right? And at the same time that we have to deal with anxiety, because in the same way we don’t know when it will be, nor how the children will be, and regardless of the means, we will have to build a relationship from scratch”, reports Ligia Kawata.
The environmental manager says that books, websites, podcasts and profiles on social networks that talk about adoption have helped her a lot in the preparation process. “They help to demystify adoption, which for most people sounds strange, because at the end of the day, it challenges the notion of traditional and hereditary family that is very deeply rooted in society”, she reports.
She says that the preparation of families and friends is also very important. “Recently a friend told me: ‘wow, have you ever thought that your child might already be born and is just waiting for this meeting with you?’ And it’s really cool to imagine that.”
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Source: BdF Distrito Federal
Editing: Flavia Quirino
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