Can an adopted child give up and return to the biological family?English 

Can an adopted child give up and return to the biological family?

A family situation exposed by the actress and former ballerina of Programa do Faustão starts the debate on the topic of adoption on social networks.

A family situation exposed by Faustão actress and former ballerina Carol Nakamura launches debate on the topic of adoption on social media. The actress reveals that a 12-year-old boy, whom she cared for and named after her son, decided to return to live with his biological family. In the report, Carol says the child was “bad” and “shameless” and grew up without rules, which led to criticism. The reported case opens the debate on whether, ultimately, adopted children can be returned to their biological family.

The boy was taken to the home of Carol Nakamura and her husband, Guilherme Leonel, in 2019. She says she met the boy during social work at the Jardim Gramacho landfill in the Rio metropolitan area. Despite the fact that the actress calls her son, it is not a complete adoption. Carol did not have custody of the child or other documentation related to the boy, as she herself claims on social media. “He (the boy) began to realize that I had only one temporary guardian, which had expired, and I only had the promise of an effective guardian, the guard I should have had from the beginning. I asked and I was promised many times and it was never completed. “

Adoption experts say the case looks like “sponsorship”: when a family wants to provide opportunities for a child who would not have them in their country of origin. Estadão tried to contact Carol via social media and email, but received no response.

However, legal adoption processes are much more complex than that, precisely to prevent children from being exposed to new situations of violence and helplessness. “We advocate that adoptions be legal, safe and permanent,” said Sandra Sobral, president of the Instituto Geração Amanhã, an organization dedicated to guaranteeing the right to family life for children and adolescents.

Since the 1988 Constitution, adoption has undergone changes in Brazil. Prior to that, it was common for children to be placed in foster care through hospitals: the so-called “Brazilian adoption”. Or who were treated as “foster children”, usually children already known and with whom the adoptive families had established an affective bond, e.g. the children of the servants of the house.

Today, adopting the Brazilian style is considered a crime. On the other hand, terminating the adoption of “foster children” without going through the most common legal procedure is complex and involves legal risks and uncertainties, such as abandonment of the biological family. Sandra explains that the legal procedure for adoption begins with the registration of applicants in the National Adoption System (SNA) of the National Council of Justice (CNJ). Those who want to adopt must undergo training courses and socio-emotional assessments. This lasts from six months to a year.

The bond between the applicant and the child is another sensitive stage. Not every child living in a shelter is suitable for adoption: it is necessary, first, for him to be separated from his family of origin. Living in poverty, in itself, does not indicate that a child should be adopted.


“For settling in a surrogate family, the judiciary has already exhausted efforts to reintegrate into the natural family and into the extended family,” explains Silvana do Monte Moreira, president of the Adoption Commission of the Brazilian Law Institute. Family (Ibdfam). Cases of return of legally adopted adoptions, following all these procedures, are quite rare, she says, precisely because care has been taken in advance that the children are eligible for adoption and plaintiffs are prepared.

These return situations can also lead to sanctions for the adoptive parents, as adoption is an irrevocable process. There are also so-called low-frequency withdrawals in legal adoptions: when the child already lives with the family intending to adopt, but the adoption sentence has not yet been given. Data from the National Justice Council show 521 abandonments last year, 29% higher than the one recorded in 2020. This year, the CNJ already reports 123 abandonments.

In any kind of withdrawal or return, the child is subject to emotional instability, but in the case of informal adoptions, the problem may be more serious, as professional support is lacking. “It’s a big disappointment because he had a completely different experience in a home with all the resources,” says Jadete Calixto, a psychologist who specializes in this topic.

Another problem is guilt. “The child suffers and blames himself,” says Sandra Sobral. Carol’s case sparked reactions from legal adoption advocacy groups. “This promotes adoption as a charity, because it is not necessary to register with the SNA,” said lawyer Cecilia de Albuquerque Coimbra, vice-president of the Acolher adoption support group in Mairiporã.


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