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Brazil: New Adoption Law

(Aug. 5, 2009) On August 3, 2009, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed a new Adoption Law, which revises legislation currently in force in the country. Law No. 12,010 of August 3, 2009, amends the Child and Adolescent Statute, the Civil Code, and the Consolidation of Labor Laws. The new Law maintains the necessary measures for the complete protection of children and adolescents, simplifies the adoption process, and establishes mechanisms to prevent the removal of children and adolescents from family and social interaction, consequently avoiding long periods of stay in shelters.

To this effect, the new Law expands the concept of family, which was previously defined as the community formed by the parents or any one of them and their descendants. The new legislation creates the concept of extended family, which includes close relatives to whom the child or adolescent has some relationship and has any affinity or affective bond. (Na Sanção da Lei de Adoção, Lula Diz que Congresso Faz Mais Coisas Boas do que Más [in Portuguese], O GLOBO, Aug. 3, 2009, available at