Figures released by the civil courts in Rome show that fewer Roman couples turned to international adoption last year. With just 158 cases of international adoption in the first 9 months of 2005 the final total is expected to be well down on the 314 cases successfully completed in 2004. Within Italy, however, 125 adoptions brought together Italian children with Italian families between January and September 2005, a 4 per cent increase on the total of 108 cases in 2004. And although hopeful couples continue to join the waiting list, fewer are putting their faith in international agencies: applications placed with adoption services abroad are expected to have fallen from 1,000 to 950 whereas national applications are expected to rise from 1,300 in 2004 to 1,400 in 2005. Costs ranging from 25,000 up to as much 40,000 have turned away many but the main factor appears to have been a change in approach by the authorities in several countries, notably, Belorussia, Russia and Ukraine, where more complicated legal procedures and diplomatic disagreements have discouraged many parents seeking to adopt.
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