Applications for adoption of children in the province of Tarragona have increased by 38% in the last two years, coinciding with the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the data offered by the Institut Català de l’Acolliment i l’Adopció, last year there were 75 requests for adoptions in Camp de Tarragona and Terres de l’Ebre, compared to 54 in 2019, a figure that also it was repeated in 2020, the toughest year of the pandemic in terms of mobility restrictions. Of the total of 75 requests, the national ones take the cake, with a total of 62, while the international ones stayed at 13.
Regarding the effects that the pandemic may have had on the interest of the people of Tarragona in adopting a boy or a girl, ICAA sources explain to the Diari that “the pandemic has not caused a decrease in this interest, but it has had an impact in other respects.”
On the one hand, there would be the effect of restrictions on international adoptions. In this sense, from this organization they comment that “just as we implemented restrictive anti-Covid measures, the rest of the countries also did it and these have had an impact.” An example would be found «in the difficulties that families who were at the end of the adoption process have had to close it. However, in terms of applications, it has practically had no influence, because the decrease from 2019 to 2020 was four, and from 2020 to last year it recovered again by five, to 13.
Another aspect that has been altered by the pandemic in the request for adoptions has been more internally. From the ICAA they explain that “the restrictions forced us to modify or adapt part of our procedures. The assessment processes with the families continued to be face-to-face, but the rest of the procedures were telematic. However, the processing, management and evolution of the files have not been delayed or slowed down, thanks to the effort to adapt to the circumstances so as not to delay the speed of the process.
Regarding the 38% increase in adoption requests in the province of Tarragona compared to 2019, they do not attribute it to a single cause, but rather to the fact that “the pandemic has made us reflect on many things and there has been a certain change in culture of what the phenomenon of adoption looks like.
At the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, Catalonia experienced a real boom in requests for international adoptions that “later stabilized downwards. Twenty years ago, many countries did not have regulations and years later they do and they are more restrictive, making it more difficult to adopt. In addition, they have promoted adoption more among their own nationals.”
Àngels Grau, president of Adopchina in Tarragona, knows perfectly well what they explain from the ICAA. «The golden age of international adoptions was between 1999 and 2012. There were many countries where you could send your application and choose. The countries responded within a reasonable time, which could range between one and four years, at most », she comments.
Those were the years in which countries like China and Russia became very fashionable when it came to adopting a minor. Àngels, who in 2000 had a 10-year-old daughter with whom he formed a single-parent family, recalls that “I was always very clear that I wanted to have a family with many children. That is why, when I considered that it was the moment, I made the first adoption. It was in January 2000 that she was assigned to adopt a Chinese girl who was 11 months old. Four years later, in 2004, the second would arrive, also Chinese and also from an orphanage.
Almost 20 years later, international adoptions in China and Russia are practically closed. According to Àngels, “the problem is that they are countries that, over time, wanted to give an image of prosperity, to get closer to more developed countries, with more freedoms, etc. And the issue of adoptions bothered them. They were interested in giving an outlet to the large number of creatures that were in the orphanages, but not the image they gave. So they changed the meaning of adoptions and began to promote national ones».
For this reason, today “it can be said that they are countries that have closed international adoptions. It’s that they don’t even let you send the files. I know of cases of more than 10 years that are waiting for assignment”, explains Àngels.
The president of Adopchina is delighted with her personal experience. «My experience has been very positive and I am delighted with the relationship that my three daughters have with each other. In addition, in my case, being adopted from countries racially different from ours, over the years I did not have to give many explanations to the girls”, comments Àngels, who states that “I was very clear about the family model I wanted. Adoption is another way of motherhood.
Emergency protocol to welcome Ukrainian children
More than 2,000 Catalan families have expressed their willingness to welcome children who have fled the war in Ukraine
More than 9,000 Catalan families have requested information on the reception procedures for Ukrainian children and more than 2,000 have already expressed their willingness to formalize a reception. Anyone who sends a Ukrainian child to Catalonia without their parents or legal guardians must contact the Directorate General for Child and Adolescent Care to regularize their situation.
The DGAIA has approved an emergency protocol to reduce the process. These are the steps to follow:
How do I communicate that I want to host?
The first step, in the case of wanting to take in an unaccompanied Ukrainian child, is to contact the DGAIA. You can call 116 111 or send an email to email@example.com.
What requirements must be met?
You must fill out the corresponding form and provide the documentation. The medical report of physical and mental health, the criminal record certificate and the registration certificate are requested. You must be 25 years old or older and at least 14 years older than the host person.
What is taken into account to assess the suitability of the host family?
The team in charge makes an initial assessment and a provisional study of the emergency family, contacts them to visit the home and interview them. In this phase, aspects such as the emotional stability of the family, the educational capacity, the family environment, if they have sufficient means of livelihood, etc. are taken into account. With this information, the team issues a report.
What about the schooling of minors?
If the report is favourable, the provisional guardianship of the minors will be delegated to the family and the procedures for their schooling and for them to have a health card will be launched. During the whole time of reception of the child or adolescent, the Institut Català de l’Acolliment i de l’Adopció will monitor it.
Are families entitled to any benefits?
Yes, as in any foster care scheme for minors, to a benefit of around 300 euros per foster child.