Adoption in Brazil –

Children’s shelters are full of tragic tales, as they receive many children and teenagers who have been victims of the most varied cases of violence and abandonment. In 2015, the National Council of Justice (CNJ) reported that more than 5.6 thousand children and adolescents are waiting for a new family in foster homes across the country. To resolve this issue, judges at the Children and Youth Courts rely on the National Adoption Registry (CNA).

According to CNA data, there are more than 33 thousand families registered in the adoption queue. But if the number of people wanting to adopt is almost six times higher than the number of children and teenagers waiting for a new family (5.6 thousand), why does the number of children in shelters keep growing?

♦ Barriers to adoption: families’ demands

The answer to this question lies in the requirements that families have regarding the characteristics of the child they wish to adopt. The vast majority of parents waiting in line at the CNA require that the child be newborn, healthy and have fair skin. However, according to the CNA, only 6% of children eligible for adoption are less than one year old. Meanwhile, 87.42% are children aged 5 or over, an age range accepted by only 11% of parents seeking adoption. The result is that some families wait for years for their demands to be met.

The fact is that adoption, since the 1988 Constitution, has come to be considered a protective measure for the interests and well-being of the child. This means that it is beyond the desires or demands of adults who are willing to adopt. It is a process in which the preservation of rights such as education, protection against mistreatment and abuse, among others, prevails. The main points considered by judges who deal with adoption cases are the guarantee of opportunity for full physical, psychological and social development.

♦ Statute of Children and Adolescents

Among the advances to solve the problems that victimize children and adolescents, the creation of the Child and Adolescent Statute (Law No. 8,069/90) was one of the most important. This statute sets out the laws that regulate adoption in our country. Among the various determinations are:

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Adoption is an exceptional and irrevocable measure, which should only be resorted to when resources for maintaining the child or adolescent in the natural or extended family are exhausted (…)

Adoption attributes the status of child to the adopted person, with the same rights and duties, including succession, disconnecting him from any link with parents and relatives, except for marital impediments.

Anyone over 18 (eighteen) years of age can adopt, regardless of marital status.

ascendants (grandparents, great-grandparents) cannot adopt their descendants; brothers can’t either;

Adoption depends on the agreement, before the judge and the prosecutor, of the biological parents, except when they are unknown or deprived of the parental authority (often, in the same process, the request for adoption is combined with the request for removal of the paternal power of the parents). biological parents. In this case, it must be proven that they did not protect the rights of the child or adolescent involved, in accordance with the law);

in the case of a teenager (over twelve years of age), adoption depends on their express consent;

Before the adoption sentence, the law requires that a period of coexistence be completed between the child or adolescent and the adopters, for a period set by the judge, which can be waived if the child is less than one year old or is already in the company of the adopters for a sufficient period of time.

♦ Adoption by same-sex couples

Another important discussion that is still ongoing today is that of guaranteeing the right to adoption for same-sex couples. Although, in 2015, there is still no legislation that addresses the issue, the right to adoption has been granted to some couples. In these cases, the judges were based on the principle of seeking to safeguard the interests of the children, that is, in cases in which the assessments carried out by social assistance recommended adoption.

By Lucas Oliveira
Graduated in Sociology