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Brazil using technology to find homes for orphans

eyes September 19, 1996
Web posted at: 10:50 p.m. EDT

From Correspondent Marina Mirabella

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (CNN) -- Is there a place in your home for Viviane Santos, who will turn 10 next month? What about Bruno Barbosa, a 9-year-old? Both are Brazilian, both are orphans, and both are counting on a new Brazilian web site to find them a home.

Bruno has lived most of his life in the heart of Rio in an orphanage that is home to more than a hundred children. Many were abandoned by parents too poor to care for them.


"This place is OK," Bruno told CNN reporters, "but what I'd really like is a home, with a mother and a father and maybe a brother."

Until now, the adoption process in Brazil has been slow, inefficient and costly, making it difficult for children like Bruno to find homes. But all that is about to change. Beginning this month, Bruno and dozens of other orphans in Rio can be adopted via Brazil's Youth and Childhood Court page on the Internet, which carries photos and some background information on the children.

Prospective parents around the world can submit their application and the required documentation directly through the Internet. "The process will be easier; it will take about 60 days, and foreign couples don't have to be here until the end of the process," said Rio de Janeiro Juvenile Court Judge Siro Darlan.

Brazilian authorities are eager to reach people from other countries, because Brazilian couples are most interested in adopting white infants. Couples in other countries, such as Sweden, Italy and Canada, are more willing to adopt older children and children of color.


"We want to reach those people," said Sister Rita, who runs the orphanage. A few of the orphans she cares for are infants, but "we have lots of older kids."

Among them are 4-year-old Carolina, and Diego, 8, who drew a picture of his dream home: blue and purple with a red roof. Now that his photo is going out on the Internet, Diego is hopeful he will find new parents who can give him that home.


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