On average, adopted children are less happy

Belly mom, heart mom

On average, an international adoption takes two to three years from receipt of the aptitude decree at the juvenile court. It varies nationally. Sophie's parents had to wait five years for their child. The way was long. Like every couple who would like to adopt a child, they too had to submit their declarations of readiness for national or international adoption to the Bolzano juvenile court. "Once the application has been made, the juvenile court checks the requirements," says Christine Egger, social assistant at the Adoption Service in South Tyrol. Couples come to her for information talks before adoption and for advice in the first year after adoption. The requirements are strict. Couples must have been married for at least three years or have lived together for at least three years. Documents such as certificate of marriage, certificate of residence, certificate of birth and doctor's visits must be available.

In the case of national adoption, the agency then takes over. The social assistant and psychologist do a psychosocial assessment. "After four months we have to submit an expert opinion in which we assess whether they are suitable or not," explains Egger. After that, the couple will be placed on the waiting list for national adoption. “But that doesn't mean that the first person on the list will have the child.” After the adoption, the pre-adoption entrustment begins; the final adoption judgment is only made after a year.

In the case of international adoption, the juvenile court decides on the suitability of the couple. Then you have a year to look for an agency in Italy that will put you in touch with the desired country and initiate the adoption. “Every country has its own way of doing this. Often you get information about the child and even photos in advance, often nothing at all, ”explains the social assistant. Then the couple decides whether or not to accept the adoption.

Many children who are adopted in South Tyrol come from Russia, South America and, increasingly, China. The children are between two and eight years old at the time of adoption, an average of five and a half.