Rome

Italy ranks 2nd for adoptions after U.S., says minister

Andrea Riccardi cites 140,000 adoptions in Italy

Italy ranks 2nd for adoptions after U.S., says minister

Rome, December 12 - Italy has adopted more children than any other country except for the United States, taking in a total of 140,000 abandoned children, an Italian minister announced at a conference in Rome on Wednesday. In recent decades, Italy has truncated the ranks of its institutionalized abandoned children, from 310,000 living in orphanages in the 1960's to 20,000-30,000 children sheltered in foster-homes today, reported Italian Minister for Cooperation and Integration Andrea Riccardi at the National Association of Adoptive and Foster Families (ANFAA) conference in Rome. "The culture of children's rights has changed a great deal in Italy," Riccardi said, "Adopted minors have demonstrated that roots are not in the DNA but in the relationships that tie children to their parents." Riccardi also called for financial and other forms of support to be given to parents who adopt children with special needs. ANFAA reported that every "adoptable" minor in Italy today, there are 10 couples available to become their parents. Yet the number of candidate couples is on the decline, falling from over 17,000 in 2006 to 11,075 in 2010, the organization noted. In addition, the number of couples deemed suitable to adopt has fallen by 30% in the same period, from 6,237 in 2006 to 4,345 in 2010. In 2010, a total of 1,177 minors were up for adoption in Italy, the organization added.

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