Adoptions blocked in China, the odyssey of 30 Italian couples

We are a group of pending adoptive families to reach the children who were matched to us from China three years ago during an international adoption procedure. The adoption procedures have stopped due to the pandemic and we have put ourselves in a condition of patient and silent waiting to be able to leave”.

There are 30 Italian couples who have been waiting to meet theirs since 2019 children in China. These are children with special needs – special needs – and who therefore need care.

The long journey of international adoption

that ofinternational adoption it is a long and often tortuous road.

First of all it is necessary to obtain the suitability for adoption which comes by decree after a process of interviews with a psychologist, social worker and judge. A step that lasts about a year.

Afterwards, the couples entrust themselves and entrust the task to an organization authorized by the CAI – the Italian commission for international adoptions – which operates in the foreign country. It takes years to get one pairing proposal, which usually comes accompanied by a photo and a medical record. Once accepted, the departure is organized. Usually after a few months.

Each country has its own rules, both for the number of trips to be made and for the length of stay. For example, a single trip lasting three weeks is sufficient for China. After the match proposal, the couple receives a document, the green parchment. The next step is the red one, which is the official invitation from the Chinese government to enter the territory.

The long wait of families

For these 30 families, months have become years: a long wait, made even more difficult by the few updates on the health of these children.

It is very difficult to accept this growth through photographs Paula explains Updates arrive every 6-8 months on averagethe”.

In some cases, the children do not know that there is a family waiting for them 8,000 kilometers away. As for Paola and her husband Ilario, Maria Chiara and Federico are also at their second international adoption. The news of the pairing came to them in full lockdown.

It’s a strange feeling to know that there is already a child with a face, with a name. And to be stuck here, far away – Federico explains – Our first child is 12 years old. Last summer, convinced that we could already have the opportunity to be four of us for the holidays, we had booked an apartment with four beds, we left in three. The first evening at dinner, with the four chairs at the table, our first son said: well this empty chair is for my brother, when he will be there. Then he thought about it for a moment and said: no, he’s already here, it’s just that we’re far away”.

The request of families

To turn it back on hope to hug their children, almost vanished for many of these families, have been there reopening of Chinese borders and the international travel restrictions lifted to and from the country.

And of openness to dialogue, albeit with prudence and moderation, some representatives of the Government also spoke in a meeting with all the parents, gathered in Rome in a manifestation peaceful to ask that their condition be considered as a priority and that the situation be resolved as soon as possible.

We can’t wait to leave, in the meantime we are creating our suitcase of memories, the birth kit, collecting everything that has happened, everything we have done, because nothing must be forgotten – explains Monia, one of the mothers gathered in Rome – This whole affair will be the story we will tell every night. We will tell them how much they were loved, desired, we fought for them. We resisted”.