Court records in Rome show that fewer Roman couples turned to international adoption in 2005, following a sharp increase in costs, bureaucratic obstacles and legislation in foreign countries. 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 more hopeful couples continue to join the waiting list, fewer are putting their faith in international agencies: national applications are expected to rise from 1,300 in 2004 to 1,400 in 2005, those placed with adoption services abroad will fall slightly from 1,000 to 950. 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 in eastern Europe, notably, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, where more complicated procedures and diplomatic disagreements have discouraged many child-seeking parents from trying.
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