FOLLOWING 142 applications for adoption which were made between January and June this year, 36 foreign children have finally found new homes with Majorcan families.
However, according to the Majorcan Social Services Institute, the figure is somewhat lower than the 45 children who came to the Island as adoptees during the same period last year.
Furthermore, during these months, a total of 45 applications were made for national adoption (in contrast to the 57 which were submitted during the first half of 2003); and 97 for international adoption (against the 76 registered last year for the same period of time). Between January and June this year, 63 certificates of suitability were awarded.
According to an analysis carried out by Ramon Rotger, president of the Balearic Adoption Association (AIBA), a constantly high number of requests for international adoption have been registered since 1998 which shows that Majorcan society is becoming more mature and open to this theme In fact, in 1998, 78 international and 21 national adoptions were successfully processed; one year later, there were 76 and 32 respectively. But it was in 2000 when the boom in international adoptions got underway. It was in that year when 102 foreign children came to the Island, while the figure for national adoptions dropped to 27. The difference was maintained in 2001, with 98 international and 15 national adoptions; and in 2002, 80 international and 34 nationals, respectively were documented.
Last year 76 international, and 40 national adoptive processes were brought to a successful conclusion.
These figures situate the Island in a leading position at a national level in terms of the number of adoptions in relation to head of population.
Currently, the average time of waiting for international adoption is from 2 to 3 years, while in the case of national adoption the minimum time is 3 years. There are children who can end up waiting as long as 8 years to be adopted. This extended period of time is as a result of some youngsters finding it more difficult than others to find a suitable family. Reasons can range from their not being babies, for their having some phycial or mental defect, or for having siblings. The law dictates that this latter group should not be separated which means that the children have to wait to be united with a family which is prepared to adopt them together.
The countries of origin of the children who were adopted during the first half of this year are the classic cases of adoptions on the Island; the majority of them, up to 23, came from Russia, 3 from India, 7 from China and another 3 from Romania.
The origin of the children has purportedly a significant amount to do with the countries where the Collaborting Adoption Agencies (ECAI) are located, entrusted with issuing the certificates of parental suitability. Of the three existing in the Balearic Islands, two work mainly in Russia and the third in Colombia.
Finally, Rotger declared that at the moment, the only country which remained closed to adoption from Spain is Romania since the law of that country is giving more elbow to national adoptions.
The problem, he explained, is that there are up to 420 Spanish families with an open file for adoption in Romania. These families, said Rotger will be offered adoption from another country, but those which have already had some contact with the children from Romania will not accept and the case remains in the hands of diplomats.