Project: AFFECTIVE SPONSORING - RECRIAR
TRANSFORMING REALITY – ONE LIFE AT A TIME
What is Affective Sponsoring
It is an opportunity of rescuing the right to community and family relationships of children and adolescents in foster care, by enlarging their reference points and offering them the opportunity to create bonds in different environments, with new examples of family participation and citizenship in Brazilian society.
The project aims at encouraging the participating children and adolescents to find, in their affective sponsors, a basis for affective relationships that will nurture love bonds and thus, help them feel safe, protected and valued as human beings. It also aims at fostering the feeling of belonging to a personal, singular and familial environment, which is vital for the healthy development of a human being.
What it means to be an affective sponsor
An affective sponsor is someone who wants to help, on a long-term basis, a child or adolescent in foster care, who has few or no possibilities of adoption.
The affective sponsor will not adopt the child or adolescent. The best word to describe him/her is as a “true friend” who will support the child/adolescent in moral, physical educational and affective terms. It is important to point out that the affective sponsor must not be listed as a potential adoptive parent, and that the project does not imply a juridical link with the minor.
Candidates to become affective sponsors must participate in preliminary individual interviews, in which professionals will evaluate their real (psychological and emotional) conditions, taking into account criteria of responsibility, affection, maturity, compromise and availability.
Recriar, as well as the foster home, will evaluate the documents submitted by the candidates, which will be the basis for the agreement between the parties.
The candidate to become an affective sponsor will go through a period of preparation before being introduced to the child/adolescent. He/she will participate in advisory workshops, dealing with themes regarding the lives of the children and adolescents in foster care, their families, as well as their social reality. The aim of this work is to make clear that affective sponsoring is a gradual form of integration to social and family life and that it complements the work done by the foster homes.
How it works
Affective sponsors participate actively in the life of the child/adolescent and are free to choose the suitable occasions, activities and the places to spend time with them.
All the people involved participate in advisory workshops and are followed closely by a technical team that helps them create bonds in a conscious and healthy way.
To participate in the Recriar Affective Sponsoring Project, candidates must live in the Curitiba region (including the metropolitan area).
TWO ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROJECT:
- Sponsoring as a PROVIDER:
A) – Financing direct actions for children/adolescents in foster care, in the form of medical and/or psychological services, private school fees, school transport, extra classes such as music, dance, information technology, etc.
B) – Donating goods: clothes, shoes, food, hygiene products, medicine, computer materials, building materials, school materials, etc.
- Sponsoring as a SERVICE PROVIDER:
Professional people can volunteer their services to children/adolescents in foster care, e.g.: doctors, artists, psychologists, dentists, speech therapists, nutrition professionals, teachers, hairdressers, businesspeople, etc.
* In both situations Recriar will enroll the candidates and refer them to the suitable foster institutions, which will, from then on, take charge of the process.
Project: Meetings of the adoption discussion groups
The meetings of the adoption discussion groups are aimed mostly at couples and individuals who are interested in adopting children and adolescents.
These meetings happen in Curitiba, in the headquarters of Recriar, and help inform and sensitize prospective parents in relation to the motives that have taken them to consider adoption. Participants also discuss the creation of a protective and welcoming environment to foster the process of inclusion of the child/adolescent in the family and community.
- To advise, sensitize and prepare prospective parents, fostering the process of inclusion of the child or adolescent, as a subject of right, in the family and community;
- To contribute to the prospective parents’ awareness of the motives that have led them to consider adoption;
- To foster the creation of a protective and welcoming family environment;
- To render advice to families on topics such as parental care, the development of identity models and the establishment of limits;
- To encourage the adoption of children normally seen as “non-adoptable” (disabled children, older children, adolescents, afro-descendants, groups of siblings)
The monthly meetings provide information, support as well as social, psychological and juridical advice to participants. The Juvenile Court is referred to as the only means of carrying out an adoption.
Project: SUPPOR CENTER TO FAMILY AND COMMUNITY LIFE – A FRIENDLY PLACE
With this project Recriar – Family and Adoption aims at offering support to the transitory process to adulthood of adolescents about to reach majority and thus, preparing to leave their foster homes. The Support Center to Family and Community Life - A Friendly Place works as a reference point to these adolescents, promoting the reestablishment of social ties, the development of skills for the construction of autonomy and alternatives for their reinsertion in society.
The current scenario for Brazilian young people who have left legal guardianship evinces that it is necessary to provide transitory support to these young people so that, being instructed and encouraged, they can function proactively in the several stages of their lives. This project proposes the development of affirmative actions of self-promotion, self-esteem, social reintegration and preparation for the professional market.
Thus, the Support Center to Family and Community Life – a Friendly Place is more than a simple space offering activities - or even assistance and advice - to adolescents. It offers broader support to 15-18 year-old people under foster care, who are usually highly affected by anguish and anxiety in relation to their future autonomy, in the phase prior to leaving their foster homes.
The project follows the pedagogy of presence and dialogue, in which a multidisciplinary team develops concrete actions with the adolescents as well as with the other people who take part in their lives, such as the foster care team, teachers, employers, family members and other professionals that are part of Curitiba city’s Child Welfare Safety Net.
SOME COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT ADOPTION IN BRAZIL
What is the adoption of children and adolescents?
From a juridical point of view, adoption is a legal procedure that consists in transferring all the rights and duties of biological parents to a substitute family, conferring to the child/adolescent all the duties and rights of a son/daughter, when, and only when all the means have been employed to maintain the original family relations. It is ruled by the Brazilian Civil Code and by the Children and Juvenile Statute (ECA, in Portuguese), which clearly determines that adoption must give priority the real needs, interests and rights of the child/adolescent. Adoption also represents the opportunity of paternity/maternity to parents who could not conceive biological children or who opted for having children without their own genetic link, besides, eventually, meeting the needs of biological families who could not care for their offspring.
Is adoption for good?
Yes, according to ECA, adoption is irrevocable, but to the same extent as any parents, adoptive parents can lose their parental rights.
What is international adoption?
International adoption of children/adolescents is that performed by foreigners. In Brazil, international adoption is conditioned to approval by the Judicial State Commissions of International Adoption (CEJAs and CEJAI, in Portuguese), whose duties are to keep a centralized database containing: foreign candidates and evidence of their good repute, chidren/adolescents fit for international adoption and authorized adoption agencies.
In Curitiba the address of CEJA – Paraná is: Rua Mauá, 920 14º andar , phone numbers (41) 3017-2802 / (41) 3017-2879.
Whose is responsible for children/adolescents fit for adoption when they are no longer under the care of their biological parents?
In Brazil most of those children/adolescents live in foster institutions. But there are also some who are under temporary care of other families (known in Brazil as guardian families, welcoming families or support families) while they wait for people interested in adopting them.
Are all the children/adolescents under foster care fit for adoption?
No, in foster care institutions/homes, only a small percentage of children are legally fit for adoption (around 10%).
Can any child/adolescent be fit for international adoption?
Adoption by foreigners is an exceptional measure and is only considered after all the possibilities of adoption by Brazilians or foreigners residing in Brazil are exhausted.
Can Brazilians living abroad adopt Brazilian children/adolescents?
Yes. That would be an instance of international adoption.
Can foreigners living in Brazil adopt Brazilian children/adolescents?
Yes. The procedure is identical to an adoption done by a Brazilian. Enrollment at CEJA/CEJAI is not necessary. The foreign person must produce proof of residence and stability in Brazilian territory.
What is the acquaintanceship stage?
It is the moment in which the family has the custody of the child, but the legal decision is yet to be executed by the judge after his/her team visits the domicile or interviews family members, for a period of time which depends on each case. Normally, it lasts about a year. According to ECA, if the child is under one year old, or if he/she has spent time together with the adoptive parent and shows sufficient affective links, this stage is dismissed.
In the instances of international adoption, this stage must be carried out in Brazilian territory and will last no less than 15 days for children up the age of two, and no less than 30 days for children above two years old.
What are the requirements for international adoption?
Documented evidence of suitability for adoption emitted by the country of domicile, according to local law; a psycho-social study done by a specialized and official institution in the country of origin; previous study and analysis of the documents sent to CEJA/CEJAI and the fulfillment of the acquaintanceship stage between the prospective adoptive parent(s) and the adopted child/adolescent.
Source: The Handbook of Adoption of Children and Adolescents in Brazil – AMB (The Association of Brazilian Magistrates) Brasília, 2000. Available online: http://www.amb.com.br/mudeumdestino/docs/Manual%20de%20adocao.pdf
Aonde está o verdadeiro nó de tantas crianças e adolescentes
ainda não terem uma família de verdade?
Por Barbara Toledo
The ANGAAD (NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUPS), non-profit civil entity responsible for national representation of more than 100 Support Groups Adoption spread across all regions of Brazil, coordinator of the National Movement for the Support of Adoption in Brazil had a fundamental role in awakening the powers that be to the reality of abandonment and institutionalization indiscriminate and long-term in children and adolescents who were in the true condition of human indignity, deprived of their fundamental right to family life.
These children and adolescents have been neglected for years by the actors responsible for the System Guarantee of the Rights of the Child and Adolescent, which aggregates a decrease in defining the legal status of these institutionalized children and adolescents, ie, were not quick to evaluate and promote reintegration into the family home or placement in a foster family through the adoption of the same, allowing such children and adolescents completing years and years of life in institutions under today host institutions.
And were just the Adoption Support Groups, through the dissemination and strengthening of the New Culture of Adoption, who denounced the condition that these children / adolescents were being treated: as real objects owned by the biological family, because of bigoted that biologism prevented them from receiving fair treatment of individuals the right to have a family able to love and care.
The Adoption Support Groups defend the constitutional right of every child to family life, including working for family reintegration, preparing candidates for adoption to the affective reality, the legal character, responsibility, and thus parenting / motherhood, and struggling to break myths and prejudices about adoption.
This whole struggle is already over 18 years, had his cause greater recognition with the enactment of Law 12010/2009, dubbed the New Law of Adoption!
Now, the new law, which amended articles of the Statute of Children and Adolescents, was set a maximum period of 2 years before the competent judicial authority based on technical reports from his team of social workers and psychologists, set the state of institutionalized children and adolescents. In other words, if no possibility of reinstatement or family matter in the case forward for adoption.
It is worth noting that there is no need to wait until 2 years, as also happened to be required in 6 of 6 months this assessment is made no later than 2 years. Therefore, at the initiative of the Court of Rio de Janeiro, now taken over by the National Council of Justice and reproduced in other states of the federation, are now required to hold hearings aacolhimento institutions concentrated in the presence of the magistrate, his technical staff, the prosecutor, facility staff and the "responsible" for the child / adolescent, all to generate the commitment of "eye to eye" and speed up procedures in favor of them who are losing their childhood without the warmth particularized a home.
Also the National Register of Adoption (CNA) is the result of the struggle of all groups towards the standardization of qualification procedure for adoption and, especially, the raising of children available for adoption, icógnita often even for the powers in charge.
Groups working in the perspectives of "for each child, one family" and work extensively in the process of persuasion and emotional charge to claimants to expand their adoption profiles and adopt black children are older, with disabilities, sibling groups. These are called ADOPTIONS NEEDED!
The National Movement to Support Adoption challenges all about fighting for the rights of children and adolescents to promote and consolidate new culture of ADOPTION, whereby the child must be treated as a subject of rights and as an object of owned by one family, one should look to adoption as an instrument of realization of the right to family life of equal value, to ensure all other rights under the Constitution. Work is being done by legal adoption, SAFE AND FOREVER!
No wonder that grows every day the partnership between the judiciary and Adoption Support Groups in the preparation of applicants for adoption. For it is the goal of all committed to the cause of the child, ensure you a real family! And, really, is not necessarily the inbreeding, but one that combines the attributes of affection and care!
But progress is needed for education, so that future generations will be devoid of prejudices and able to love the different, accept and defend every child deprived of a family.
Barbara Toledo - 2012 (President of the National Association of Adoption Support Groups).