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The Veneto project to accompanying and support adoptive families: Padua’s experience


Context. This paper presents the activities developed within the "Pilot Project to support and accompanying adoptive families", the project was promoted by the Veneto region in the year 2004. In the province of Padua the project was realized by 3 public social services (specialized on adoptions - Ulss 15, 16 and 17) and 4 accredited bodies (AMI, CIAI, Istituto La Casa e Progetto Alem). We will present the working group methodology with particular attention on:

-        why: The choice of work with parents and children in parallel groups;

-        when: The evaluation of the right time to introduced the adoptive families in the group;

-        how: The methodology in the group of parents and in the group of children;

-        where: The integration between Public Social Service and Authorized Bodies;

-        evaluation: The evaluation of customer's need and satisfaction;

-        target: Adoptive Families (parents and children) during the first year of adoption;

-        data collection: The data were collected during the organization of the group activities and during the group activities.



-        'Ad hoc' questionnaires (submitted before and after the activities);

-        group with adoptive parents and group with adoptive children;

-        checklist to monitor and to evaluate the integration in the group.


Activities. The goal of the group is to give support to the couple in the phase of becoming a family:

-        helping adoptive parents in the work to transform the idea of child in their son;

-        giving to adoptive parents the opportunity to compare their feeling and thinking with other adoptive families and with professionals;

-        observing children during playing and laboratory's activity.


Effectiveness. The effectiveness of our activities are demonstrated by:

-        the almost total lack of absences of the adoptive parents at the meeting,

-        the high satisfaction score average (4.2 -on a Likert scale from 1 to 5- which corresponds to the answer "very satisfied");

-        and, at last, a strong correlation between the themes proposed and needs submitted by couples.


Conclusion. Implications and recommendations for politicians, researchers and practitioners. As you can see in the table:

-        the adoptions of siblings are increased;

-        the countries of origin of children are increased;

-        in the group we can see similar and repetitive themes (underlined on the table).


In Italy, the new law and the psychological characteristic of adoptive children have required a new ways to support the adoptive family: they need to have the possibility to compare themselves to other families. In this way, also the creation of self help informal networks are allowed and improved.


Key References

Galli J., Viero F., a cura di (2001), I percorsi dell'adozione - Il lavoro clinico dal pre al post adozione, Armando Editore, Roma.


Contacts: Marta Macchi Equipe Adozioni, Azienda ULSS 16 Padova, Via Temanza n 1 35100 Padova Italy, E-mail: adozioni.ulss16@sanita.padova.it, Phone +390498216116.








N group






N couples






N children






Age (av.)






Countries of origin


Bulgaria 6

Ukraine 1

Italy 2

Ukraine 4

Russia 3

Belarus 1

Colombia 3

India 2

Ecuador 2

Italy 4

Brazil 2

Colombia 9

Ethiopia 5

Russia 2

Ukraine 1

Cambodia 1

India 1

Russia 3

Ethiopia 5

Colombia 4

Italy 1

Hungary 2

India 3

Cambodia 1

Russia 3

Colombia 5

Brazil 2

Italy 1

Nepal 1

India 3

Ethiopia 2

Lithuania 2

Poland 2

Ukraine 1







Main theme

- Schooling

- Health Issues

-- Achievement

- Sleeping disorder

- Rules

- Different attachment style with mother and father


- The children life before adoption

- Biological parents vs adoptive parents

- Delays in the developmental stages

- Acquisition of developmental stages


- Schooling

- Children between imagination and reality

- Regressive behaviour

- Parental concerns

- The children life before adoption between foster families and institutions

- The revelation (Talking about the past)

- Lies and theft

- Learning a new language

- Journey in the countries of origin

- Food, sleep, play, autonomy

- Inclusion in the family

- Diversity in dealing with mother and father

- Sibling relationship


- Concerns about what happened in the past

- Importance of roots

- Belonging to a new family

- The staying in the countries of origin

- Language as a tool for understanding each other

- Rules

- Conflict in the relations between parents and child

- Health problems of the children -

- Decision making about schooling

- Foster parents

- Sleeping disorder

- Regressive aspects

- Sexuality

- Sharing difficulties and moments of discouragement

- Biological parents vs adoptive parents

- The school and the learning of a new language

- Fears

- Homesickness of the countries of origin, the biological parents, the foster parents

 - Somatic differences

- Sibling relationship

- Conflict in the relations between parents and child

- Sleeping disorder

- Desire to look like the adoptive parents

- Children between imagination and reality

-The first meeting between children and parent in adoption

- Rules and transgressions

- Biological parents vs adoptive parents

- The school and the learning of a new language ,

- Relations with the country of origin and the foster families

- The adoptive children homesickness

- Somatic difference

- Trusting each other

- Sensorial aspects in the building of parental relation -Becoming parent

- Building a new family

- Playing as the preferred way to build the relationship with children

- Sexuality



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