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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis: Simplify bureaucratic procedures for adoptions

The pope held a meeting with a 600-year-old organization that cares for the most defenseless children.

It is called the Institute of the Innocents in Florence. It welcomes children with no family or those in risk situations, providing them with the warmth of a home and everything necessary for a life as normal as possible.

These little ones were known as "the children of the broken medal." They kept half of a medal, and the mothers who abandoned them were given the other half. Thus, they could find their children if they were ever looking for them.

"Today in the world there are so many children who, ideally, have half a medal. They are alone. They are victims of war, victims of migration, unaccompanied children, victims of hunger. They are children with half the medal. Who has the other half? The Mother Church. We have the other half."

The pope desires that institutions like this one be promoted all over the world. He asked for them to take care of abandoned children and help them find a family. Pope Francis also asked for help in promoting a "culture of adoption."

"Many times there are people who want to adopt children, but the bureaucratic process is so long. Even when there is no corruption involved, it's that you pay and... Help me with this, instill the awareness that we have the other half of the child's medal."

The pope recalled there are many families who would like to have a child. Likewise, there are many children who have been abandoned because of wars, hunger or migration.