Every child's right to grow up in a family
Sweden - a good country for adopted children
Children adopted from other countries are a familiar sight in Sweden. In fact Sweden's small population has the world's highest percentage of international adoptions.
For almost fifty years there have been official and organised channels for intercountry adoption to Sweden. From the mid 1960's to the year 2010, almost 50 000 children have been adopted from other countries by Swedish families.
The standpoint of the Swedish authorities
The official Swedish policy is that the preferences of the
sending countries concerning the children's future and Sweden's
ability to guarantee the children's security together constitute
the preconditions governing intercountry adoption. The Swedish
viewpoint is that the scale of intercountry adoptions should hinge
on the prospects of providing these children with secure
surroundings and family links by means of adoption.
The immigration procedures for adopted children are simple and straightforward.
There are no conditions governing how many or which children may be adopted with regard to gender, origin, or mental or physical health etc.
Each year about 800 children of varying ages are adopted by Swedish families. These children originate in more than twenty countries from all over the world.
Family association for intercountry adoption, FFIA
Post Adoption Services
According to the conditions of authorisation,
Swedish organisations are responsible for sending follow-up reports
to the child's country of origin and for supplying information
about the legalisation of the adoption. The frequency and number of
follow-up reports depend on agreements with the counterparts
FFIA members arrange activities for adoptive families, especially for the children, to create opportunities for a network between the children and to maintain ties with their country of origin. It is important for the children when they are in their teens to have adopted friends to exchange experiences with. At country gatherings children from the same country, and often even from the same orphanage, become friends.
These relationships have proved to be important to the children. At an early age children learn about their birth country and it becomes an integral part of their identity.
Adoptive parents enjoy learning more about their child's country
of origin for example in study circles.
Since FFIA is a member organisation the adoptive families or the individual adoptees may remain members for as long as they wish. Members enjoy access to the adoption office and other advisers should they need support or want to seek information.
Visiting countries of birth
Everyone who is adopted has at times thoughts and questions about his or her origin. Wishing to see the country they come from and to meet the people who might have something to tell them about their history, is natural. Many families visit their child's country of origin before the child has entered puberty. At this age children are positive towards everything that is new and exciting and can use the experiences in building up their identity. Other families travel later and sometimes adoptees travel alone or with a friend when they are old enough.
It is important to everyone that these visits are made with thought and care, in order to respect the integrity and feelings of all persons involved. FFIA arranges visits for groups and can provide advice and contacts for individuals wishing to travel on their own. Many adoptees feel that visiting their birth country has been a very important experience in their personal development.
Information and reports
FFIA publishes a quarterly magazine, which is distributed to the members as well as to authorities and libraries etc. The magazine covers a wide range of topics including recent research in the adoption field, society and adoptive family topics, personal adoption stories and travel programs as well as articles about culture and current affairs from the various countries of origin. The main purpose is to provide information about and understanding of the children's country of origin.