Since the end of World War II intercountry adoptions became an integral part of adoption practice and child welfare services in the United States. One of the American organizations more actively involved in intercountry adoptions, on direct mandate of the US Committee for the Care of European Children, was the Chatholic Committee for Refugees-National Catholic Welfare Conference, entrusted with the Catholic children’s care. From 1946 to 1950, it was mainly in charge of children from refugee camps (about 850 cases, of which, however, only 4 concerning Italian children). However, since 1951, the majority of cases handled by the Catholic Committee for Refugee (Ccr), in cooperation with the Catholic Relief Service (Crs), involved minors from Italy (although they could not be considered "refugees"). The massive campaign for adoptions, carried out in that period within the American Catholic community, had created a huge demand for European children: Italy became then the ideal supply basin, for its particular economic and social characteristics and for the "flexibility" shown by the Government, convinced that intercountry adoptions could be an excellent solution for little ones not to experience misery and abandonment in Italy. Thanks to the Ccr and Crs, from 1951 to 1960, more than 2,000 children were welcomed by US families, mostly of Italian origin, creating a sort of unusual "migration chain", since often, in the application forms, the intended parents specified they wanted only children from Italy.
Keywords: International Adoptions, Italy, United States