Recently I’ve heard an amazing story from an Italian.

     She is 43 years old. A native Milanese. She is active, sociable, works as a salesperson in a store. She speaks several languages. For some reason she did not get married, although she is quite nice and adequate. She has no children. Or, rather, she did not.

     A few years ago, as a typical conscious European woman she began to provide charitable assistance to refugees and visited their homes as a volunteer. So she met with a family of emigrants from Somalia. They dragged on a miserable existence, being on a tight budget. And eight years ago they had a son. My friend, seeing that the family has a difficult situation and that the boy is going to have a dubious future, offered to adopt him. The parents agreed. And so the white Italian takes a three-month-old black boy as her son.

     It must be said that in Europe nobody will be surprised by the fact. I often meet families with children of other races on the streets. I see white parents with children, who are Asian or black, and sometimes – families with their own children, and among them – foster children of other nationalities. In this respect Europe has very liberal, views especially in the north and west.

     In my story, I was more surprised by something else. My friend from the first day of the adoption of the child did not hide his biological parents from him, and, moreover, she allows them to meet with him. Now he is eight years old, and every weekend he spends at home. Fortunately, they live in the next street.

     “How can you share your child with someone?” I am surprised.

     “Is he a thing, and is he my property?” My friend is surprised in reply. “He’s a person, a human being. He has the right to know everything about himself and choose his own destiny. When he grows up, he will understand everything. Even now, at the age of eight, he understands everything and sees this situation as normal.”

     “Who does he call mother?”

     “Me,” she says proudly, her eyes glowing with joy.

     Personally, I was surprised by this story. I recall our practice of adoption, when the data of biological parents of orphans are strictly classified; when it is considered a tragedy, if the child finds out that he is adopted; when there are scandals between biological parents and adoptive parents because of adopted children.

     To what extent must one have the freedom and non-greed in order not to be afraid of losing an adopted child, to trust his feelings and let him know everything.

     I do not even know if I could do it myself.

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