Ferrah Poe, Lifeline International Social Worker
Brazil Program Point
In March of 2018, Lifeline leadership and Lifeline Brazil program points had the opportunity to travel to several states in Brazil to learn more about the country and grow in knowledge regarding how the adoption process works in each state. Brazil is a country with a rich and diverse culture. The people there are welcoming and have much pride in their country. For adoption, specifically, Brazil is very unique in that each state is autonomous, allowing it to oversee the adoption process within its state borders. This process is similar to the state autonomy present in the United States.
On our trip to Brazil, we were able to visit Sao Paulo, Parana, Brasilia, and Rio de Janeiro. In each of these states, we met with the central authority office (CEJAI) to hear first-hand about the process and need in each state. These visits were a tremendous opportunity for our team to hear from the directors, social workers, and psychologists working with the children of Brazil each day. We were able to see their love and passion for the kids and their belief that every child has a right to a forever family. In each state, we were told the biggest need is for families to adopt older children (8+) and families to adopt sibling groups (2-3+). Because of the incredible diversity in Brazil, we have also seen that children of all races are in need of loving, forever families.
Something very unique about Brazil is the required 3-4 week bonding period for families in country. For some families, the in-country stay can be a deterrent when considering adoption from Brazil; however, having spent time in Brazil, we see this bonding time to be extremely beneficial for the kids being adopted and for the family as a whole. During this time, the child’s social worker or psychologist visits weekly with the family and is an additional layer of support while in Brazil. Also, parents have an incredible opportunity to spend time immersed in their child’s culture and language and truly understand where their child comes from. This extended time set aside for bonding allows parents and children to begin forming a solid foundation for their relationship, which is extremely beneficial for the family once they are back home in the U.S.
Lifeline has been accredited in Brazil since 2011. We are one of only three U.S. agencies currently accredited in the country of Brazil, and we are able to complete adoptions in each Brazilian state. Our two pilot families have both completed the process and have been home for about a year! Brazil is a Hague country and offers families general stability in the adoption process. We have seen consistency and success in its adoption processes, and we appreciate the leadership’s desire to see these precious children in families.
Brazil can be an amazing program for families who welcome stability in the process and who are being led to be a forever family for children from various racial and ethnic diversities. Brazil may also be a perfect program for families interested in older children and sibling groups!
To adopt from Brazil, both parents must be at least 21 years old and married for at least 2 years. Per Brazil guidelines, single women are permitted to adopt. If you are interested in learning more about the Brazil program and how you can be involved, contact Ferrah Poe for more information.