One of the best interests every child has, the moment it is born, to have a family. Or better, first comes the indisputable right of the unborn to be born even if it is not recognized by the parents, as dictated by the law on anonymous childbirth. Each of us has been created to relate to the others and the need to belong is irrepressible. We see this in the young people we receive in our therapeutic community or meet in prisons, many of whom have never sat on the lap of a dad or a mom. Non-relation is unbearable; someone will pay the price in the shape of their child’s aggressive and self-injurious behavior, addictions, or actions of self-preservation.
Giving a father and a mother is essential for a sufficient, balanced, and harmonious psycho-emotional development. This is when laws on custody or adoption for male-female couples present in various countries come into play. What we say – things based on our 50-year-long experience in receiving thousands of children, and in accordance with evidence provided by psychology and pedagogy – about adoption, intended as a gift to the needs of the child to have a father and a mother, in the marvelous complementarity between men and women. For this reason, we believe that the availability of same-sex couples adoption is not the appropriate answer to the real needs and interests of the child.
The legal institution of adoption and custody, good in itself, does not magically guarantee a successful parent-child relationship. It is only the choice – which is the case of all parents – to grow and accompany their child in the beautiful experience of life, giving her/him their time and heart, and supporting the child, but also educating him or her to distinguish the good from the bad, the way of justice, responsibility, and sacrifice, of working for the common good, for us.
We have witnessed very challenging adoptions – children who had cognitive, psychological, and relational difficulties, adopted at an early age – that succeeded because in the adoptive parents there was a clear awareness of a choice of love, giving, fidelity in good and bad times. We have seen other adoptions, apparently simple; fail when in adolescence the emotional turmoil gave gave the parents a hard time, forcing them to give up, since the choice of adoption was an act of emotional compensation where the child was used by the couple.
The foster family should not be left alone, it has to be adequately supported by the appropriate social services and have to walk into a network of other families that support each other. So as to become a resource for abandoned children.