“Contact was our positive test”

In Paraíba, 325 children and teens are housed and 63 are available for adoption, according to data from the National System of Adoption and Shelter (SNA) for April. Most of the protected people in the state are brown young adults between the ages of 15 and 18. This Wednesday (25th) is National Adoption Day.

There are more people able to adopt than there are young people available in the national adoption system. Currently, the total number of adopters in Brazil is 33,026 people, eight times the number of children and adolescents. This long queue is the result of the desired profile of users who do not fit the realities of registration. Paraiba couple Andreza and Fabio Paiva had a short time on this wait.

After 13 years of marriage and some treatments in an attempt to get pregnant, when they gave up on the idea of ​​processes like in vitro fertilization, Andreza and Fabio began considering the possibility of adoption. In 2020, during pastoral services, helping the homeless, they met a group of orphaned brothers. “In March (2020) with my husband’s consent, I went to the First Childhood Court in Joao Pessoa to get information about what would be necessary for adoption, but with the pandemic everything has been paralyzed,” Andreas says.

The couple were able to enter the SNA qualification process in October 2020 and in January 2021 they were called to the preparatory course for prospective adopters. In May of the same year, they interviewed the multiprofessional team of the First Child and Youth Court of Joao Pessoa and determined the intended profile of the children.

The most memorable moments of the employee and the military police were when they received a call to inform them of the children, when they first saw their daughters and when they got home. “On August 20, 2021 we received an email and a phone call from a court in the interior of Alagoas of parents of three sisters. Maria Rafaela was born to us at the age of 10, Maria Reisa at the age of seven and Ryan Sofia at the age of four. When we got the call, it was serve as our positive test,” Andreas explains.

Maria Raffaella, Maria Raissa and Ryan Sofia. (Photo: personal archive)

Fabio and Andreas traveled about 6 hours to meet their daughters in person and spent the day with them at the orphanage. It was a mixture of feelings, happiness and anxiety. Our youngest spent almost all of the time in our arms and the older ones gradually approached,” he says.

Before they were given temporary custody of the girls, the family went through a period of adjustment and the parents began to equip the girls’ room. “We chose pink, wallpaper, lamp and curtains with a bird theme. The dollhouse design bedroom furniture is also pink. We put some pictures taken with them in the picture frames in the living room and bedroom.”

Parents decorate the children’s room. (Photo: personal archive)

In October 2021, they went to pick up their daughters and along the way, they prepared a letter for family and friends to announce the news to everyone. “Thank God we have received many messages of support for our family project,” Andreas highlights. The two young children were still in the car on the way home, they called her father and mother, and it took three months. At the children’s reception there was only grandmother and uncle, but they used the birthdays to introduce the girls to family and friends.

The family organizes a party to celebrate the arrival of the girls (Photo: personal archive)

The family began a period of cohabitation seven months ago. For the first six months, Andreza was able to stay away from work because she took leave to stay with her daughters full time, which helped her in that first moment when they got to know each other “we started imposing procedures and limits, which led to exasperation, tantrums and tests. It takes a lot. Of love and patience to overcome daily challenges. This moment was the most important in forming the bonds, the bonds of love that will nourish our family.”

The family participates in the João Pessoa Group for the Study of Adoption and Support (GEAD-JP), where families who intend to embrace and already share their experiences. Today, the Paiva family is awaiting adoption.

adoption process

Anyone over the age of 18 in good physical and mental health, with no criminal record, can adopt as long as there is a 16-year difference between the applicant and the adolescent or adopted child. Adoption can be single or joint and the documents required to go into the process are: RG, CPF, proof of residence and criminal record certificate.

Adoptive applicants must undergo a psychological and legal preparatory course offered by the Childhood and Youth Court. Usually, in these sessions, the judge invites prosecutors, the attorney general’s office, psychologists, social workers, teachers, the person who has already adopted and the teen who has been adopted to tell about their experiences.

Current law does not allow “intuitive” adoption, in which the mother gives the child directly to the adopters. The only exception is family adoption, when an aunt adopts her nephew, for example. Another possibility is unilateral adoption, when a husband or wife adopts a child from a previous relationship of the husband. In these cases, it will not be necessary to wait for the SNA queue to progress.

Operations, in general, have a 120-day period to start and finish. According to Adhelton Leit, President of the First Court of Childhood and Youth in Joao Pessoa Province, in the case of voluntary adoption, when a mother gives birth to a child voluntarily, she is deprived of the family’s power in the process itself. Witnesses and prosecutors are heard, and the judgment is already drawn up at the same hearing. When there is an objection by indigent fathers or mothers, the judge will evaluate and set the date of the hearing and instructions, at which all evidence is presented, and eventually the judgment is rendered.

“The registration note is extracted to the civil registry office, where all the data of the adopted child or adolescent will be changed, such as the surname, the name of the parents and grandparents. There is no information that determines anything before the adoption, only in the process.”

Adoption is an irrevocable measure, that is, it is a permanent bond. When adopting children and teens, it is important to consider the things they have been through before and to create a welcoming environment in which they can safely develop.

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