This paper presents and discusses the relation between "legal risk" in child adoption and Law no. 173/2015, better known as the law on the continuity of emotional ties. The text refers to data collected in a research delving into the representations and expectations of parents waiting for an adoption decree, in a "legal risk situation" ( so defined by the Italian judicial practice, about art. 10, par. 3, of the Law no. 184/1983). The survey involved legal actors (honorary and robed judges, as well as lawyers), social operators (social workers and psychologists) and foster families. It shows that families’ parenting is trapped in a state of limbo, in consequence of a dual bind - which is both legal and emotional.
Keywords: Children foster care - Adoption - Best interest of the child - Family relationships - Juvenile justice