High cost deters Italians from overseas adoptions

Italian families are adopting fewer children from overseas because of the high cost and the lengthy time it takes for adoptions to be approved, according to a leading support group.

High cost deters Italians from overseas adoptions
There has been a steep fall in the rate of adoptions since 2010. Photo: Daniel Lobo

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.” 

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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Monday 

Find out what’s going on in Norway on Monday with The Local’s short roundup of important news. 

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Monday 
Oslo Operahus. Photo by Arvid Malde on Unsplash

Norwegian government to unveil more details around Covid certificate 

On Monday, the government will issue guidelines on how exactly its Covid-19 certificate will be used domestically.

At 3pm, the government will hold a press conference where they will reveal more about how the Covid-19 certificates will work.

The certificate launched on Friday, but so far, the government have been sparing with details on how it will be used. 

READ MORE: Explained: How to access Norway’s Covid-19 certificate 

They have, however, revealed the certificate would be used for access to large events as well as tours and cruises within Norway. 

We will have all the details on how the certificate will be used covered in an article later today. 

Ministry of Defence: No signs of espionage 

There is no evidence to suggest that Danish data cables were used to actively spy on Norwegian politicians by the US, Defence Minister Frank Bakke Jensen has told parliament. 

At the end of May, Danmarks Radio reported that the US used Danish data cables to spy on politicians across Europe. 

“These are serious allegations that the government takes very seriously. Based on what we know, it does not look like there has been activity (espionage) directed at Norwegian politicians,” Jensen said in a statement. 

READ MORE: Norway summons US embassy top official over spying claims 

“Systematic espionage is completely unacceptable. We are clear to the Danish and American authorities about this. We are also in active dialogue with Danish and American authorities and services about the information regarding this matter,” he added. 

One in ten Norwegians plan summer holiday abroad 

Only ten percent of respondents to a new survey have said they plan on going on holiday abroad this summer. 

According to the survey by employer organisation, Virke, the majority, 60 percent, said that their travel plans have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Fewer children are being adopted from abroad in Norway 

In 2020, 46 children were adopted from abroad in Norway, half the number of foreign adoptions compared to 2019.

According to new figures from Statistics Norway, the number of foreign children being adopted in Norway is also less than 10 percent of what it was in 1998 when 795 foreign adoptions were registered. 

A total of 243 adoptions were recorded in Norway last year, almost 100 less than the year before. 

One of the reasons fewer foreign children are being adopted is that countries that have previously released children for adoption abroad can now take care of these children themselves, according to Statistics Norway.

96 new coronavirus cases

On Sunday, 96 new cases of Covid-19 were registered in Norway, 89 fewer than the seven-day average of 185. 

Fewer cases tend to be registered on weekends and public holidays than on weekdays. 

The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 0.9. This means that every ten people that are infected will, on average, only infect another nine people, indicating that the infection level is declining.

Total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway. Source: NIPH