The Friends of Children Association (Ai.Bi) says there has been a steep fall in the rate of adoption since 2010 because it costs adoptive families too much money and takes too much time to complete the process.
“In the last five years we have seen a major fall in applications for adoption,” the association said in an article published by the daily Il Fatto Quotidiano.
Ai.Bi is holding an international convention in Gabicce Mare, near the northern city of Pesaro, to discuss the issue and find ways to increase the number of adoptions.
The Union for Italian Adoptive Families (Ufai) has joined the organization in calling for changes from the Italian government on speeding up the process and reducing the costs.
Ufai said the country’s economic crisis was not solely to blame for the fall in adoptions.
“Adoption is a path, a journey with a marvellous ending, but unfortunately the journey is not,” UFAI says on its website.
“This is a tiring journey, a burden physically and financially with an uncertain outcome and often painful for families and especially for children.”
The organization called for greater transparency, a reduction in costs and a speedier bureaucratic process at a conference held at the end of July.
According to Il Fatto Quotidiano, parents can end up spending €35,000 to adopt a child from Russia, €30,000 for a Vietnamese child or €22,000 to adopt a child from Peru.
Statistics cited by Il Fatto Quotidiano said 4,130 children were adopted in Italy in 2010 but that number fell to 950 in 2014 and this year’s figures are expected to be even lower.
There are an estimated 150 million orphans in the world and the organization believes there should be fewer hurdles for parents who want to adopt a child.
In the most celebrated case, 48 Italian parents are still waiting to collect the 24 children they adopted from the Democratic Republic of Congo two years ago. In September 2013, the DRC government banned exit permits for adopted children effectively stopping them from departing for any other country.
“They are waiting for us and we are waiting for them, we are suspended in this very painful blockage, ” the parents said in a joint statement recently.
“There are so many children and so many families in Italy, France, the US, Belgium and other countries in this situation.”